Workers wash and move trash bins at Mid Valley Disposal on Monday afternoon. The private company took over half of Fresno's commercial trash pickup last December, hiring former city employee Rodney Moultrie.
“Same job, different owners,” said Moultrie.
Mid Valley took on 20 haulers from the city, servicing 5,200 customers. The General Manager says they've maintained staffing and fine tuned pickups along the way.
“It's going great so far. We've done a lot of streamlining; we've done a lot of route consolidation. We've decreased the amount of trip counts that we're taking in the City of Fresno,” said Joseph Kalpakoff, GM at Mid Valley Disposal.
Kalpakoff also says customer complaints are only a quarter of a percent, far less than the contract maximum of 3%. The City of Fresno is pleased.
“Everything's clicked along pretty much as the franchise agreement had spelled out,” said Patrick Wiemiller, Director of Public Works.
The union that represented those former city workers is fighting privatization again, this time for residential pickup.
“For us it's not about the companies. For us it's about, this is not the right thing to do,” said Marina Magdaleno, Business Representative for Local No. 39.
Magdaleno says part of the contract agreement, selling off trash trucks for less than market value, is wrong.
“So you have made a gift of public funds to a private company. That makes no sense; there's no reason for that,” said Magdaleno.
Moultrie says once the dust settles, going from public to private is alright.
“It'll be a change, you know, a little adjusting, but you get used to it,” said Moultrie.
City haulers that went to Mid Valley took a pay cut initially, but after one year, got a 5% raise.