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Garbage Wars

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Mayor Jim Tipple says this is the first time that Wausau has taken a competitive approach to hiring a garbage collector.

For the past 30 years, Onyx has been picking up Wausau's trash. Now, Tipple wants a committee to see if they are providing the city with the best value, all this while Onyx is under state investigation for questions relating to the contracts with their clients.

"They're not allowed to leave Onyx's services unless they're given an opportunity to match a competitor's offer first," said Esther Martin of Industrial Recyclers of Wisconsin.

Industrial recyclers of Wisconsin, or IROW, is one of Onyx's direct competitors who is trying to take over the collection contracts.

Martin says the customers want to change to a more local company for their collection, an argument that Onyx officials say they don't understand.

"Local is what you put back into the community and we buy our products local. We hire our people local," said Lance Tesch, Onyx Operations Manager.

Tesch says Onyx has always operated on the highest level both with its clients and the government.

As far as their contract with Wausau, that will end in December and it will be up to a committee and the City Council as to whether or not it is renewed.


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