Charlottesville has hired a consultant to study the efficiency of its recycling and reuse program.
The city awarded a contract to Gershman Brickner Bratton Inc. of McLean on Jan. 28.
The base contract is $103,029, with an optional $37,689 for route analysis and an optimization study for three streams of waste and street sweeping routes, according to interim Public Works Director Marty Silman.
The city issued a request for proposals in July that closed at the end of August. It called for a review of the city’s recycling program, contracts, resources and services.
The goal of the study is to increase services, maximize funding and improve efficiency.
Charlottesville’s solid waste program operates at an annual deficit of around $800,000 that is covered through the general fund. Over the summer, the City Council stopped the collection of leaves in plastic bags as a cost-saving measure.
In February, the McIntire Road recycling facility stopped accepting plastics 3-7, as a global slowdown in recycling affects local markets.
Charlottesville uses both internal staff and external contractors to deliver solid waste services.
The contracted services cover three transfer stations, curbside pickup, trash services and limited composting.
City workers conduct street sweeping, large-item pickup, leaf collection and some curbside trash and recycling pickup in the downtown and uptown areas.
The city is also in an agreement with the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority to manage the McIntire recycling facility and a transfer station for recycling and yard waste in Albemarle County.
The consultant will present recommendations to city staff, who then will give a presentation to the City Council. Silman said the study is tentatively scheduled to run through September.