BEL AIR, Md. (Aug. 20, 2015) – Harford County government finalized an agreement Wednesday for outsourcing the county’s solid waste management services to Maryland Environmental Service (MES), a not-for-profit, quasi-state agency with a track record of improving efficiencies and customer service. The outsourcing agreement will not raise prices or limit services at the county’s landfill and recycling center.
MES will be reimbursed only for the cost of services it provides, according to the 10-month agreement covering August 31 through the remainder of fiscal year 2016. Total reimbursements will not exceed the approved $4.7 million county budget for such services over the same time period. MES services will include operation of the county’s Waste Disposal Center in Street and the Tollgate Rd. drop-off site in Bel Air. However, the county will retain oversight of its facilities and policy control over operations.
MES began conducting on-site customer surveys to identify opportunities for improving customer service after the county Board of Estimates approved the contract award to MES earlier this month. In addition, nearly all of the approximately 40 county employees whose jobs are being eliminated by the outsourcing have found other positions, primarily with MES or in critical-need areas of county government arising from an earlier retirement incentive. The county first announced plans for the outsourcing in June. The announcement was timed to maximize job opportunities for affected county employees.
Established in 1970, MES provides environmentally responsible services to government and private sector clients in over 700 projects throughout the state and the region. Staffing flexibility, broad access to resources, plus economies of scale, allow MES to provide efficient and customer-friendly service, while offering clients the potential for cost avoidance and cost savings. A portion of the $150,000 initial cost savings to Harford County, already identified by MES, will fund a county position to oversee the MES contract. The complete MES contract is published on the county website at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/download/2633.pdf