PERALTA—Beginning July 1, Universal Waste Systems will be the official solid waste provider for the town of Peralta.
After a year-long process, the Peralta Town Council voted to enter into contract with Universal Waste Systems during last month’s council meeting.
Councilor Joseph Romero said the contract has been awarded for two years.
“One thing that we’re going to find moving forward with this contract is the burden is really going to increase on our town, on our staff in respect to validating complaints,” Romero said. “(The contract) revolves around substantiated complaints, so it’s on us to substantiate a complaint.”
Peralta Mayor Bryan Olguin said every complaint will have a file so the council can review them.
Town of Peralta’s attorney Steven Chavez said contract negotiations began on Feb. 8.
“We drafted the proposed contract, sent it to UWS’s attorney, they went through it and sent back a reply with proposed changes. We went through those, accepted some, negotiated others. This occurred six times over the course of the last three months, back and fourth,” Chavez said.
There was a brief time when he thought negotiations were going to stall completely due to issues with the complaint procedure and the rate cap, Chavez said.
“If there is a complaint, it is not a substantiated complaint unless it’s not resolved. All complaints have to be resolved within 24 hours,” Chavez said. “If any complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the customers and UWS, either one, then it becomes a substantiated complaint.”
If there are 12 or more substantiated complaints, Universal Waste Systems will be fined $500 along with other accumulated fines.
The town clerk has to keep track of substantiated complaints because if they accumulate to more than five per week, then there is a fine for that as well.
“One hundred percent of the rates are included in the contract. There are no hidden charges,” Chavez said. “We know what the rates are and we will always know what the rates are exactly.”
Councilors Randy Smith and Claudio Moya Jr. recused themselves from this entire process to avoid a conflict of interest.
Town Clerk Kori Taylor said the company will put together a welcome packet for the Peralta residents, listing their prices.
For residents who are not currently customers of Universal Waste Systems, they can sign up on its website, uwsnm.com, or call 377-8833.
A 96 gallon polycart pick-up costs $16.08 per month and for each additional cart it is $5. To pick up recycling from a 96 gallon cart, it is $3 for a monthly collection. For a full list of residential and commercial service options, visit the town of Peralta’s website.
Beginning Wednesday, July 1, trash will be picked up for those who live east of N.M. 47, and for those who live west of it, pick-up days will be Fridays.
The council began discussing the possibility of hiring a single trash hauler to minimize damage caused by large trucks to residential streets and attain lower rates for residents early last year.
Workshops were held to gather public input on what residents would like to see provided from a company.
In December, the town council’s selection of solid waste provider was halted. During that meeting, the governing body voted to table the action to enter into contract due to confusion surrounding the evaluation of the solid waste response packets.
Taylor said they sent out a request for proposal and received response packets from AC Disposal and Universal Waste Systems.
A committee of five people was created to evaluate and score the response packets and make a recommendation to the council.
Based off the scores, the committee recommended the governing body enter into contract negotiation with Universal Waste Systems, the company that currently services unincorporated Valencia County