Lewis County recycling center upgrade bids come in around $300,000

Bids for an upgrade project at the Lewis County recycling center intended to improve its no-sort system came in around the $300,000 mark, as anticipated.

“This is pretty much what we expected price wise,” Lewis County Solid Waste Director Peter J. Wood told members of his legislative committee Thursday afternoon following a bid opening. The county received two bids on the project: $293,348 from Jordstat Construction, Alexandria Bay, and $374,000 from MJ Dakota Inc., Oneida.

An official with MJ Dakota questioned whether the low bidder included having a trailer compactor on-site during construction.

Mr. Wood and officials with Bernier, Carr and Associates, Watertown, which designed the project, agreed to review the bids and check into that particular issue before making a contract recommendation. The full Legislature is expected to vote on the matter at its Aug. 2 meeting.

The project, including some alterations to the building, a new compactor dedicated for recyclables and a 100-yard trailer to transport them, should take about six weeks to complete, Mr. Wood said.

Lewis County has traditionally had a dual-stream system, requiring residents to put their cardboard and paper recyclables in one container and their glass, tin and plastic in another.

However, solid waste officials earlier this year began sending some loads to the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority recycling center in Utica, which automatically sorts all recycled materials, and they recently removed dividers in the collection bins so residents may now combine recyclables.

The Development Authority of the North Country has offered to contribute 33 percent toward capital investments made by counties for the implementation of single-stream recycling up to $100,000, as well as offering reimbursement of $5 per ton for recyclables delivered to single-stream recycling facilities.

Mr. Wood told committee members that he believes DANC will retroactively credit his department for all loads sent to Utica since the beginning of the year. That adds up to roughly 500 tons, or $2,500 in projected reimbursement, he said.

Workers are now using the trash compactor at the Lowville transfer site to compact recyclables.

Installation of a dedicated compactor will make the process much more efficient, while the addition of a larger trailer should allow the county to send loads to Utica every other day instead of every day, as it is now, Mr. Wood has said.

In his report, County Highway Superintendent David L. Becker told committee members that nearly 15 miles of county roads have already been repaved, with well over 20 miles expected by the end of the summer, while nearly 40 miles have been surface treated. Relatively low oil prices have resulted in roughly $400,000 in savings, allowing the department to do more roadwork than usual, he said.

“It’s getting pretty hectic,” Mr. Becker said.

The department is undertaking 34 projects this year, while it does eight to 12 in a typical year, he said.

By Steve Virkler, Watertown Daily Times