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Sludge-hauling contract saves $100,000 per yea
Sludge-hauling contract saves $100,000 per year
By SUE REID
It's been a year since the city of Solon outsourced the sludge-hauling operation at its sewage-treatment plant in a move to cut costs in light of declining revenues.
The change did not result in any additional layoffs, as the two sludge-hauling operators resigned at the time of the outsourcing and were not replaced.
Plant Director Paul Solanics, who said the outsourcing has been going well, presented to City Council's public works committee last week with a contract extension for another year with Ohio Bulk, of Newburgh Heights. The committee approved the one-year extension, which is at the same cost as the initial contract at $350 per load.
The main reason for continuing the contract is rising fuel costs, Mr. Solanics said. "We think it's in our best interest now to extend the contract at $350 a load." Outsourcing the sludge hauling saves the city $100,000 annually, he said.
Other areas at the plant, including pump-station maintenance and laboratory, also were investigated for outsourcing last year.
Mr. Solanics said he does not foresee the city looking to outsource anything else in the future.
The sludge hauling was chosen, he said, "because it was a big liability for us anyway," and there were high costs associated with it.
"We had to maintain the trucks," Mr. Solanics said, including three semi-tractor trailers that typically would take four-hour round trips to the landfill five days a week. "We were putting a lot of miles on those trucks every year and tying up two employees virtually for the better portion of a 40-hour work week," he said.
Ohio Bulk stages four trailers at the treatment plant, and they are available at all times, Mr. Solanics said. "We fill them, and a driver comes to pick them up when they are full." That takes place every day, five days a week, he said. "Over the weekend, we have all the trailers filled and ready," he said. "It's a constant process."
Sludge, which is the organic and inorganic material that settles out in the tank and is removed through the treatment process, is taken to American Landfill in Waynesburg.
At the plant, water is removed from the sludge to make it as dry as possible, Mr. Solanics said.
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