From Harford County government:
County Executive Barry Glassman announced plans Wednesday to outsource the county’s environmental services functions, including the operation of its Harford County Waste Disposal Center in Street and the Tollgate Rd. drop-off site in Bel Air, to Maryland Environmental Service, a not-for-profit, independent state agency. Without raising prices or limiting services to the public, the outsourcing planned to begin in late summer will provide opportunities to improve efficiency, realize cost savings and minimize future expenditures.
Maryland Environmental Service’s scope of work is planned to include staffing for operations and technical support of the county’s daily landfill operations, homeowner drop-off services, mulch and compost operations, roadside litter control, recycling and related engineering services. As a result, 46 positions in the county’s Division of Environmental Services will be eliminated.
“Staffing changes are the only difference that citizens may notice, but this outsourcing will streamline county operations, increase our access to expert resources and allow for better cost management,” said County Executive Glassman. “At the same time, this is the last major reorganization in my transition plan, and we are working to find homes for affected employees.”
The Glassman administration has notified affected employees and encouraged them to apply for 27 job openings with the county, which are primarily essential positions being backfilled as a result of the county’s earlier retirement incentive program. The administration will also provide assistance for those who wish to apply for available positions with Maryland Environmental Service, which may include staffing of the Harford County operations.
Established in 1970, Maryland Environmental Service (MES) is a not-for-profit, independent state agency with expertise in providing environmentally responsible services at competitive prices to private sector and government clients. MES services include water and wastewater treatment, solid waste management, composting, recycling, hazardous materials cleanup, storm water services and renewable energy. It currently has 764 projects in three states.
MES has proposed to provide services for Harford County in fiscal year 2016 at a cost not to exceed the county’s budget for the same services. Because MES is a not-for-profit agency, it only charges for expenses incurred, allowing for cost savings to the county due to efficiencies in MES operations, including flexibility in workforce deployment, and economies of scale.