Charlotte parts ways with recycling vendor

After months of complaints about service, the city of Charlotte is switching to a new company to pick up curbside recycling.

The City Council approved a short-term contract Monday night with BFI Waste Services of up to 10 months.

The city decided earlier this year to terminate a contract with Inland Waste Solutions, which had held a contract with the city since 2009. Inland had problems with high employee turnover, which led to problems picking up recyclables and bulky items.

The city’s Solid Waste Services department had to work five of the company’s 20 routes.

In June, the city said it had penalized Inland $85,000 a month on a $335,000 monthly contract. The council’s meeting agenda didn’t say how much the city had fined Inland overall since the problems began.

The temporary contract for recycling services with BFI, also known as Republic Services, will run through June 2015.

The city will lease eight vehicles from Inland Waste, which lost the contract. That will cost the city $345,000.

The city said the temporary plan won’t exceed its recycling budget, which is $4.56 million for the year. Charlotte’s short-term contract with BFI is capped at $1.8 million.

Solid Waste Services plans to shift some of its staff from bulky pickup to handle recycling. It will use some BFI staff and trucks to handle bulky-item pickup.

• In other action, the City Council approved a business investment grant for Sealed Air Corp. for $1.62 million over seven years.

Sealed Air, a Fortune 500 company, announced in July it would move its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte. The company, which makes plastic protective packaging, said it will bring 1,262 jobs to Charlotte.

A business investment grant refunds a company part of its future property taxes for a corporate expansion or relocation. The total city/county grant is $4.45 million.

• Council members also voted to extend a contract with ShotSpotter Inc. to provide coverage to three neighborhoods: Center City, Grier Heights and Albemarle/Farm Pond for $160,000 for a year.

ShotSpotter provides what the city says is “acoustic gunfire detection.” The city uses ShotSpotter to try to identify when and where gunfire occurs.