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The Texarkana, Ark., Board of Directors on Monday approved a new landfill contract expected to save the city about $1 million over the next five years.

The board unanimously passed three measures that together authorized the contract and accordingly updated city ordinances and agreements with local garbage haulers.

Beginning May 1, the five-year deal with Paris, Texas-based Sanitation Solutions Inc. will cost the city approximately $1 million less than a new contract with its current provider, Waste Management of Texas Inc., would have.

Sanitation Solutions will charge the city $16 a ton for its residential garbage. That's less than half of either of two fee options proposed by Waste Management, which has the city's current contract.

Waste Management had made two bids for a new contract, both at higher rates than they now charge. Option one was $35.50 a ton for the duration of five-year contract, inclusive of fuel surcharges, and option two was $33.50 a ton with a $1 per ton increase annually.

Because Sanitation Solutions' landfill is in Lamar County, Texas, the city also negotiated a deal on commercial waste to help offset haulers' cost of transportation.

"Currently, the city only pays landfill fees on our residential and not the commercial, and our haulers are seeing a much higher landfill rate on their commercial waste. As a courtesy to our haulers, we required the landfill to give our commercial haulers the same rate as us," Public Works Director Tyler Richards told the board.

Richards added that his staff is looking at other ways to help cut expenses for local haulers Richardson Waste Inc. and Edmondson Trash Service, which will continue to collect residential garbage as usual.

"There's currently some loopholes in our solid waste ordinances that are being taken advantage of that we feel should be addressed," Richardson said.

In December 2017, the board approved a $2 per month increase in the city's residential garbage collection fee.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for May 6.

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