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Transition to Garbage Handler Omni Still New to Village

Public Works Is Working Hand in Hand with Omni to Work Out Kinks

In week three of the Village of Mineola partnering with Omni of Babylon in a 10-year garbage disposal agreement, the transition has been up and down according to the Department of Public Works. However, it’s working with Omni to better the delivery of the garbage and the performance of the garbage trucks.

With the village’s 15-year contract with the Town of North Hempstead coming to an end this past April, the village asked for proposals from private contractors as well as the town for solid waste disposal. According to documents pertaining to the price quotes, Omni quoted the village prices of $64.75 per ton for solid waste, $60 per ton for yard waste and $50 per ton for street sweepings. North Hempstead quoted the garbage price at $72.75 per ton for solid waste, $68 per ton of yard waste and $55 per ton for street sweepings.

In April, the village accounted for an increased transportation cost of $4 per ton with Omni. In fact, the transportation aspect of the new contract has been an issue over the first three weeks with Omni.

Village of Mineola Superintendent of Public Works Tom Rini said there have been numerous issues with the transportation of garbage to Omni’s headquarters in Babylon. In his report to the board on May 19, Rini stated that adjustments are being made to create a streamlined functionality of garbage removal.

“When we first started, the travel time was becoming a bit of an issue and that has required some adjustments,” Rini said. “We’ve made some adjustments already. I think during the first week, we had some issues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of that week which generally are our heaviest days. We have our garbage pick, our recycling pick and our rubbish pick up.”

Rini stated that the Department of Sanitation has tweaked its scheduling and that last week, the department only had one issue on Tuesday. According to Rini, it’s moving along well and as the new procedures sink in, it should be smooth sailing. He’s asking that residents and local businesses be patient.

“I realize it can get a little frustrating but I ask everyone for patience, to bear with us,” Rini iterated at last week’s board of trustees meeting. “It is again, a new procedure. It’s a new location. There’s dumping procedures out at the new place. There’s a learning curve on our part, there’s a learning curve on their part. So it takes a little time to make some of these things happen. It does represent an entire change for our workforce so it takes a little time for them to react.”

The Department of Public Works had all 11 garbage trucks inspected and cleaned up mechanically, so that there would be no issues on the road since the vehicles have to travel long distances. Rini also brought representatives from the truck’s manufacturer to give the village a better understanding of prepping the trucks for long distance travel.

“That took us the first week and that backed us up a little bit,” Rini concluded. “We brought in manufacturers reps to make sure that the workers fully understood the best way to do things; the best way to maintain and grease the equipment so that we have longer life. We’ve been doing some things and taking some steps in order to educate our workers and provide them the best way to maintain their equipment.”

Rini met with the sanitation department on May 19 and said a few ideas are on the table to better the function of pick up and transportation of garbage to Babylon. “We have confidence in your crew and the [Department of Public Works] and sanitation in that it will all become very satisfactory for our residents,” Deputy Mayor Larry Werther said.