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Farmington considers renewed contract for trash, possible rate increases

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Armando Ortiz, a driver with Waste Management, carries a trash can to his truck on Wednesday on Wellington Street in Farmington.

AZTEC — Farmington residents may see the rates they pay for trash and recycling pickups increase by nearly 3% this year as the city considers renewing its contract with Waste Management.

The Farmington City Council heard a preliminary presentation regarding the terms of the renewed contract during the Sept. 8 meeting that can be viewed online at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter. Following the presentation, the council voted 3-0 to publish a notice of intent to adopt increased sanitation rates.

Final action on the measure is planned for an October meeting.

Community Works Director David Sypher said residential customers with both trash and recycling carts will see an approximately 3% increase in rates, or about 58 cents.

The new terms also call for Waste Management to replace diesel garbage trucks with compressed natural gas vehicles as the trucks are retired, according to a presentation from Dan Darnell, manager of public sector relations at Waste Management. Darnell said five of the nine trucks currently run on compressed natural gas.

Armando Ortiz, a driver with Waste Management, drives up Wellington Street in Farmington on Wednesday.

This is not a cost saving measure, Darnell said, and it could even increase fuel costs. However, he said the compressed natural gas burns clean and is produced in New Mexico.

Another change in the terms is that Waste Management will monitor locations where trash receptacles are often overflowing and could charge overflow fees or increase the frequency of pickups for businesses that often overflow their receptacle.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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Armando Ortiz, a driver with Waste Management, picks up trash bins on Wednesday along Wellington Street in Farmington. Ortiz was among the Waste Management garbage truck drivers who received training earlier this month on how to help local law enforcement by reporting suspicious activities.