NORWALK, Conn. – Two City Carting trucks passed Tuesday morning on Norwalk's Soundview Avenue, an unheard of occurrence until Monday.
The company is now picking up Norwalk's garbage in addition to recycling materials, as the 10-year-contract authorized by the Common Council in July became effective Oct. 1. The switch will save Norwalk $855,328 in its first full year, city officials say.
It's going well, Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord said. "City Carting is doing a fantastic job," he said. "Very efficient. There are some streets where people either didn't see the memos or didn't know what day their recycling was on and they've got garbage out," he said.
"So we're dealing with that on an individual basis, reminding them what day their pickup is. But it's about as expected."
He attributed the smooth rollout to time spent in planning, including City Carting drivers doing dry runs. "They've got supervisors following their trucks this week just to make sure they're not missing anything," he said.
Larry Dorman, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, had a different take on the situation, as the eight city employees who had been picking up garbage have been reassigned. Two are drivers and six are laborers.
"Our members who worked in refuse will suffer significant pay cuts because of the greed of public works management and the mayor in hiring City Carting," he said. "The taxpayers, we think, will pay a price as well. They're being asked to underwrite City Carting's operation.
"The city is providing the equipment and infrastructure to make it easier for City Carting. We don't think it's in the interest of the workers, and we certainly don't think it's going to be in the interest long term of the residents."