WHEATFIELD – Modern Disposal will continue to collect garbage and recyclables in the Town of Wheatfield for the next two years, but it will no longer pay the town $30,000 a year for the recyclables.
The company insisted on dropping that guaranteed payment because the value of recyclable cans, bottles, paper and plastic has plummeted, and Modern is not coming close to earning $30,000 from selling the material to processors.
“That was discontinued because the value of those items have gone the tubes. They’re virtually worthless,” Town Attorney Matthew E. Brooks said. “They’re underwater on that…The processing cost is more than the value for the scraps.”
The Town Board approved the two-year extension of the refuse contract at Monday’s meeting.
Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said the town thought it still had a good deal because Modern didn’t increase the town’s cost for disposal services.
“If we went out to market, we would take the risk of going up,” Cliffe said. “We either had to accept their offer, leave the prices where they were on everything and lose the rebate, or take a chance on the market.”
The 2016 town budget allocated $920,000 for garbage disposal.
Cliffe said based on the results other local towns have had in recent garbage bidding, Wheatfield might have seen a significant increase in cost if it had sought new bids.
“What happens if it’s $100,000? That makes it very difficult to stay under the tax cap,” Cliffe said. He said the loss of the $30,000 rebate is easier to withstand.
Under terms of the Modern contract, this is the last extension the town is allowed to make without seeking requests for proposals, Cliffe said.
In other matters Monday, the Town Board approved two additions to its zoning code.
The law now incorporates Federal Aviation Administration height restrictions for areas around Niagara Falls International Airport, and it specifies that farming is allowed in rural-residential zones, as long as the farm already exists. Residents who own less than two acres of land will not be allowed to grow field crops or raise livestock.