City Carting contract remains a source of speculation

These trash and recycling containers were left this way on Fort Point Street after Thursday's collection, according to a resident who provided the photo.
These trash and recycling containers were left this way on Fort Point Street after Thursday’s collection, according to a resident who provided the photo.

NORWALK, Conn. – Fact or fiction:

  • Norwalk can get out of the 10-year City Carting contract any time it wants.
  • City Carting is being allowed to fuel its trucks on the sly at Norwalk’s pumps.
  • The city has no quality control over City Carting’s crews.

When it comes to Norwalk’s 10-year trash hauling and recycling pickup contract with City Carting, there are plenty of strong feelings. There continues to be anger over the displacement of eight city employees who were forced into lower-paying jobs when Norwalk contracted to outsource their work. There is speculation that City Carting is being given certain under-the-table perks, such as being allowed to fill up fuel tanks from the city’s pumps and no-bid additions to the original contract.

Complaints have been raised at meetings about crews leaving trash receptacles strewn around roads, driveways and sidewalks, about overloaded recycling trucks dropping materials onto people’s lawns – and leaving them there. And some question whether the promised $17 million in savings will materialize, despite city Director of Management and Budget Bob Barron’s assurances that the savings, so far, are real.

Attached below is a copy of the contract between Norwalk and City Carting. It spells out the answer to the questions, some of which we will address here.

Yes, Norwalk can, if it so chooses, walk away from the contract for any reason:


A. The CITY may at any time, and for any reason, direct

the discontinuance of the Services contemplated under this

Agreement for a period of time by written notice specifying both

the discontinuation date which shall not be less than fifteen

(15) days from the date on which such notice is given and the

period during which the Services shall be discontinued. The

Services shall be resumed on the date specified in such

direction, or upon such other date as the CITY may thereafter

specify in writing.

B. The CITY may at any time and for any or no reason

terminate this Agreement by written notice specifying the

termination date, which shall be not less than twelve (12)

months from the date such notice is given. In the event the

remaining term of this Agreement is less than twelve (12)

months, written notice shall be given no less than six (6)

months prior to termination. In the event of such termination,

the CONTRACTOR shall be compensated for those Services

satisfactorily performed prior to termination. Such amount

shall be fixed by the CITY after consultation with the

CONTRACTOR, and shall be subject to audit by the Finance

Director of the CITY.

Yes, City Carting is allowed to fill up with fuel at the city pumps:

F. Fuel

The CONTRACTOR has the option to purchase fuel from the

CITY’s fuel station located at 15 South Smith Street, open

Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 3:30 PM. If the CONTRACTOR

chooses to exercise this option, the CITY will bill the

CONTRACTOR monthly for fuel usage based on its current cost and

the CONTRACTOR will be provided with a key for each designated


The CITY holds State of Connecticut Sales Tax Exemption

Certificates and, therefore, is not required to pay taxes for

work done by, or on behalf of, the CITY with the exception of

Gross Receipts Tax on gasoline.

Yes, the city does have quality control over the way City Carting crews do their jobs:

H. Fines

The CONTRACTOR’s failure to perform the Services in a safe

and professional manner, in compliance with all applicable

requirements of the Program shall constitute the basis for the

CITY imposing fines against the CONTRACTOR as set forth below:

(1) For the failure to clean up any Solid Waste spilled by

CONTRACTOR’s personnel – each incident at a single premise: One

Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

(2) For the operation of an unsafe vehicle, a vehicle

without a proper/valid permit or license, or a vehicle without a

proper cover: each failure One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

(3) For driving in an unsafe manner, such as crossing a

striped or lined roadway to pick up a container: One Hundred

Dollars ($100.00) per incident.

(4) For the failure to provide the CITY with required weigh

slips for CITY Transfer Station containers – daily upon return:

One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per incident.

(5) For the failure to wait until 7:00 a.m. to begin

collecting Solid Waste: One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per


(6) For the failure to empty containers at the CITY

Transfer station in a timely manner: Three Hundred Dollars

($300.00) per incident.

(7) For the failure to place emptied containers behind the

curb or away from the traveled way (sidewalks, roadways,

driveways) or the placement of such containers in a manner that

impedes vehicular or pedestrian traffic: One Hundred Dollars

($100.00) per incident.

(8) For the failure to properly maintain customer refuse

containers, including in particular, those damaged by

CONTRACTOR’s employees: One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per


(9) For delivering noncontract tonnage (waste collected

from areas outside Current Service Area): Ten Thousand Dollars

per incident ($10,000.00).

(10) Other infractions may be identified by the CITY

throughout the performance of this Agreement including, by way

of example, a repeated failure to properly resolve complaints,

as set out in Section E below, to the reasonable satisfaction of

the Director.

The CITY reserves the right to assess an appropriate amount

against the CONTRACTOR in order to compensate the CITY and the

public served by the Program for any damages, costs or

inconveniences incurred as a result of complaints and citations.

These amounts are intended to compensate the CITY for any

losses incurred as a result of the CONTRACTOR’s failure to

perform according to all applicable requirements or to perform

its Services fully and properly as stated in this Agreement.

We asked Mayor Harry Rilling about complaints, and if he knew of any fines being levied against the company. He said Friday he had not heard of any official complaints.

“I am not aware of any (complaints) that were made directly to any other department in the city,” he said. “It could be that they are making complaints to the customer service line or it might have come directly into the Department of Public Works. Nothing has come into my office.

That is where the mayor suggests people direct and complaints about shoddy service.

“The best place to report those types of problems is directly to the mayor’s office,” he said. “I have no problem hearing those complaints and taking the appropriate action.”
He said that, as far as knows, no one is riding around and checking up on City Carting’s performance, so it is up to the citizens to make their feelings known.

“In order to effectively police them, people need to be our eyes and our ears, and therefore whatever complaints that they have – not only with City Carting but with any of our city services – in order to get some sort of satisfaction, it’s always good to report it.”

While Rilling says no complaints have come his way, concerns have been raised at public meetings and to NancyOnNorwalk. Earlier this month, Golden Hill resident Mike Mushak complained of watching an overloaded recycling truck dropping discarded materials and leaving them there. He said it was not the first time he has found items strewn on people’s lawns and on the side of the road. Common Councilman Bruce Kimmel backed him up, saying he was aware of some problems, too.

Last week, a Fort Point Street resident complained that trash receptacles are often left scattered on the road, sidewalk or driveways, impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Rilling said people need to call his office and let him know.

“If they are not satisfied with the trash collection, and you are saying these things are occurring, then I would certainly want to exercise our ability to levy fines against City Carting for not living up to the standards that they are to live up to,” Rilling said. “I would have no reservations whatsoever.”

City Carting Contract pp 1-20 12-0925

City Carting Contract pp 21-end 12-0925


5 responses to “City Carting contract remains a source of speculation”

  1. Oldtimer

    Cancelling the contract clearly requires a full year or more notice. Some council people have reported the contract can be reported at any time, for any reason, making it sound a lot simpler than stated in the contract. The requirement to supply MACHINERY is in the contract, and there is no exception for compactors to be purchased through or from City Carting by means of a no-bid contract.

  2. The Norwalker

    Also think of the potential accidents that could happen because drivers have to park their cars in the street to move their trash cans out of their usual parking space on the street!

  3. LWitherspoon

    Per Mark Chapman: “The contract mentions equipment only for pickups and hauling, not for the transfer station.”
    Source: https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2014/06/latest-reason-for-norwalk-boe-tension-janitorial-outsourcing/
    Bruce Kimmel I believe was the Councilman who stated that the contract could be cancelled any time, for any reason. Councilman Kimmel was correct that the contract can be cancelled but perhaps wasn’t aware of the one year notice required to do so. I can forgive the omission because Councilman Kimmel is one of our most thoughtful and hard working Common Council members. Considering the capital investment made by City Carting, some notice period is reasonable. Most important, the savings are real, according to this article from NoN:
    I still question whether workers comp savings were included in the savings detailed by City Finance Department employee Bob Barron. If not, that means the savings from outsourcing will be considerably more than what was cited in the article.

  4. spanner

    great article,add the environmental issues and the fact no diversion rate data or study was ever done and you have even more to sit and wonder if Norwalk did get a deal or not.

    Blue bins cost us when we needed one how much does replacing this 50 gallon or so bucket going to cost?

    Rilling needs to understand or better yet ride behind a city carting truck for an hour and he would understand some complaints are legit.

    His task force on environmental issues seems to be MIA,guess give them a position and Norwalks problems go away.Next time ask for credentials Harry the same problems Moccia had on Meadow st still exist.

    Those white pickups for the Parking auth,who pays for the gas in those?Two years ago a NW plate was involved in an accident in Bridgeport,LAZ had the truck,shortly after that the license plates were all changed,wonder if LAZ uses city equipment like the bobcat and sweeper still?

    Transfer station antics happen all the time,you just have to be able to read the room to know whats going on there.Why does city carting employees wear Norwalk city vests?Why so many city carting employees at the transfer station?Does Norwalk pay extra for extra help?

    So much for the way it was,but thats why we have Kimmel to tell us under all those mayors what he has seen,the here and now Bill whats going on today with city carting.

    Some taxpayers are now suggesting Norwalk should act like a suburb,its city status is really over sold.Population yes but mindset of a town should be adopted with many issues less chance of paying out money on senseless studies on things like city carting will save us in the end.

    Clearly if a diversion rate was given at contract time it would of reflected on what Norwalk was doing not to save money.

  5. Oldtimer

    Compactors compact loose trash so City Carting trucks can carry more weight per trip. If the city is paying per ton hauled, there is no advantage to the city in compacting. Compacting is strictly a benefit to City Carting Co to reduce their costs for hauling. If the compactors need repair, or replacement, that is City Carting’s problem, Not the City’s. Compactors are clearly machinery used for hauling.

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