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City could privatize trash pickup
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Oxford is looking to privatize its trash and recycling pick up services because the city loses around $81,000 annually by providing the service and its remaining full-time solid waste employee will be retiring this year.

The Oxford City Council will host a work session to discuss privatization at 6 p.m. April 16 at Oxford City Hall.

Mayor Jerry Roseberry said that according to the city's auditors the city receives $141,252 in revenue while providing solid waste services costs $276,304. The annual loss comes out to $135,052 per year, but trash and recycling pick up only occur three days a week, so Roseberry said the city could save around 60 percent of the deficit.

The other two days of the week the employees pick up yard waste and provide chipping services, which would continue be offered even if trash and recycling pick up is privatized.

Currently, two of the solid waste employees are temporary employees and the third full-time employee is retiring, so if the city continues to offer trash and recycling pick up it may want to hire full-time employees. One issue with hiring full-time employees is that as they age they may not be able to handle the manual labor of solid waste work, but also may not have the skills needed to move elsewhere.

Roseberry said Social Circle and Walnut Grove have contracted out their solid waste service for years and both have had positive experiences.

He said looking into privatizing solid waste is another way the council is trying to save citizens money. Previously, the council has changed its pension plan and health insurance provider to save the city money and has absorbed some electricity rate increases and offered a $10,000 homestead exemption to save residents money directly.