City of Cortland extends contract with Bert Adams Disposal

Blue bags out on curbs in the city of Cortland, ready to be picked up by the Bert Adams Disposal Monday morning. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/The Cortland Voice).

The city of Cortland is extending its contract with Bert Adams Disposal for another year, but changes could be made once the contract expires.

At last week’s Common Council meeting, council members unanimously voted in favor of continuing the current contract with Bert Adams Disposal. It includes the blue bag system ($5/bag) and the glass-only pickup week. The extension will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Nic Dovi, superintendent for the city’s department of public works, said at last week’s meeting the only change to the extension is the increase from $267/ton to a $300/ton for garbage pickup. Dovi noted the average tonnage in the city has gone from “about 2,000 in the past few years to around 1,600 today.”

Dovi added Monday morning that the city and Bert Adams Disposal “went back and forth on the contract extension,” but ultimately agreed on the negotiated increase.

Despite the extension with the current contract, Dovi said on Monday he and the city will look into either “drastically or minorally changing the current contract,” going with an entirely different company, or seeing if it’s cost effective for the city’s DPW to pick up garbage every week for 2023 and beyond.

“We would send out requests for proposals (RFP) for bids for whatever type of collection method that we wanted to change to or adopt,” he added. “There are a lot of different variables to consider.”

Dovi noted he didn’t want to “completely change” the current contract with Bert Adams Disposal, adding he needs more time to continue his research in other counties and on other companies to “see what best quality service could be for the city.”

“Instead of re-inventing the wheel, this is the way to go right now,” Dovi said.

Dovi suggested at last week’s meeting that RFPs should go out by the beginning of 2022, get bids by the spring and finalized a new contract soon thereafter.

Councilperson Tom Michales (R-8th Ward) recommended the council come to an agreement with a potentially new contract before the DPW’s road construction season starts in April.

I’m confident Nic is making the right decisions on what’s best for the city moving forward,” said city mayor Brian Tobin.