City of Mertzon to Texas Disposal Systems: "You're Fired!"
Monday night, the City of Mertzon city council fired Texas Disposal Systems. TDS is the city’s incumbent and exclusive trash hauler and has been since early 2014. Regardless of Monday night’s action, the trash contract remains in force until December 31, 2018, though. The council voted to announce to TDS they were ending the contract anyway, a year-and-a-half before the 90-day window when a written notice of termination was required.
Two members expressed their desire to allow Mertzon to be an open market to allow any trash hauler to compete for each individual residential or commercial customer. “We’ll still get the franchise fees,” one council member said.
Franchise fees in Mertzon are currently 5 percent of the services charged.
In December 2013, the City of Mertzon was ground zero for San Angelo’s trash wars. There, both Texas Disposal Systems and Republic Services fought for the exclusivity contract to collect and haul all of the City of Mertzon’s trash.
TDS sales efforts were proving to have an upper hand. That’s when Republic Services unleashed its slick, big city robocall campaign. The phone calls urged residents to lobby their council member to choose Republic’s lower rates.
The problem was Mertzon only has 1.5 square miles of land and a little over 300 households. The robocalls lasted for days, calling each resident three, four or five times per day.
Then-Councilman Clayvorn James Rose wasn’t moved either way. He said in 2013 Republic’s price was lower. So low, he said, “They were cutting TDS’s throat.”
No one from Texas Disposal Systems attended Monday night's council meeting.