By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
A Grand Island company contracted to take over the town's garbage and recycling anticipates a seamless transition from the previous contractor.
Pinto Sanitation will take over the town's waste business as of Jan. 1. In advance of the transition, Pinto is in the midst of an information drive to educate Islanders about the services and to introduce the hometown company to their Island neighbors.
Sam Iuvino, supervisor of Pinto Sanitation, said informational mailings were scheduled to go out this week and recycling totes are set to be delivered to Island homes the weeks of Dec. 10 and 17. Another mailing will go out after Christmas. The company's website (pintosanitation.com) and social media pages are up and running.
The mailers will include information about the recycling totes, Iuvino said, and tell residents what they can put in them.
The goal is to make the transition from the previous provider to Pinto as easy as possible.
"A lot of it's going to stay the same, we're just going to do a better job at it," said company President Giorgio Panepinto.
The foundation of the company is in its attention to service, Panepinto said. He stressed that the town's new provider is an Island family and 95 percent of the employees doing the work are Islanders.
"We want to take care of our neighbors and we want to do the right thing," Panepinto said.
The previous waste hauler was much maligned at the end of its contract this year for service delays blamed on manpower and truck problems. The town collected three bids for a new five-year garbage and recycling contract and selected Pinto's bid of $1,439,984 over bids from Modern Disposal and Republic Services.
The company is investing heavily in the new work. Pinto is investing over $1 million in the trucks and recycling totes right off the bat, the company said. Pinto purchased two brand-new garbage trucks to serve the Island exclusively. Those Islanders who attended the Light Up the Boulevard Parade saw one of the trucks. (It's pictured on the front page as well as on Page 7.)
Included in the bid, Pinto will offer a recycling drop-off program on a monthly basis for all town residents, who will be able to drop off their electronics and tires for no extra charge.
"We're going to offer the residents a way that they can dispose of their electronics, TVs and tires," Panepinto said.
In June, the company hosted an e-waste event at Town Hall and collected "60,000 pounds of electronics and TVs in one weekend," Panepinto said.
Iuvino said such an event probably hadn't happened in 10 years.
Iuvino said the company could host a couple e-waste drives every year.
Though the company is new to the Island's garbage business, the Pinto family of companies has been in business for over 75 years. Panepinto said the company started in the 1920s when his great-uncle began hauling coal and garbage for the City of Buffalo. The disposal company began in 2007.
"So people think, 'Oh, Pinto, they're a new company.' No, we've been around longer than Republic. We've been around longer than Modern. It's just that we're a small family company and we've kept it that way," Panepinto said.
Pinto has accounts and business relationships with all the surrounding landfills, transfer stations and recycling facilities.
Pinto is the only Dumpster and disposal service in Western New York that guarantees same-day service.
Panepinto said the company currently hauls, disposes and recycles over 3,000 tons of garbage and recyclables per month. The Grand Island garbage contract and recycling is estimated to be between 500 and 800 tons per month.
"So really, it's a small percentage of what we're already doing," Panepinto said.
Giorgio Panepinto of Pinto Sanitation cuts the ceremonial blue ribbon marking the start of the company's five-year garbage and recycling service with the Town of Grand Island. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Grand Island Town Hall with members of the town government and Grand Island Chamber of Commerce in attendance. (Photo by Larry Austin)