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MISSION VIEJO : Council to Hear Trash Hauler Bids

The city’s dispute with its municipal waste hauler will intensify tonight when the City Council listens to proposals from five competing trash companies.

The five firms that submitted bids to the city last May for residential and commercial waste disposal will present their proposals at the 6:30 p.m. meeting. The lowest bid was $2.44 per month less for each household than the current contract, which charges customers $11.85 per month.

Mayor Robert A. Curtis has accused the city’s current trash hauler, Dewey’s Rubbish Service, of overestimating the amount of rubbish taken from Mission Viejo. Even though the city’s contract with the Irvine-based firm runs another four years, Curtis called for the competing bids.

“Clearly, the market rate is significantly lower for improved services than our contract rate with Dewey’s,” Curtis said. “We want to provide lower rates to our taxpayers for state-of-the-art disposal services. We will try to do that through renegotiation, if possible, and litigation to terminate the contract, if necessary.”

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Curtis also called a special meeting of the council for 5:30 tonight to look into another councilman’s relationship with Dewey’s. In a press release issued late Tuesday, Curtis said he would ask the city attorney to look into what he called the “special relationship” between Councilman William S. Craycraft and Dewey’s executives.

Curtis and Craycraft are bitter council enemies, and the mayor’s move was seen as the latest escalation of the personal feud.

On Monday, the city began to prepare for a legal battle with Dewey’s Rubbish Service, hiring the Los Angeles law firm of Richards, Watson & Gershon to handle the matter.

Curtis, who was in the minority when the council decided 3-2 last year to grant the contract to Dewey’s, also says the trash company has a poor service record. The mayor has directed city staff to ask the company for its complaint records.

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