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Politics

Tampa searches for new solid waste director


Published:   |   Updated: November 19, 2013 at 05:52 PM

TAMPA — City officials have launched a search someone to replace Tonja Brickhouse as head of the Tampa’s solid waste division.

Brickhouse, a retired Air Force colonel, left the city abruptly this summer after eight years leading the city’s trash-hauling staff.

The city has hired corporate headhunting firm Colin Baenziger & Associates to find a replacement. The contract was signed Oct. 11 and is worth $19,750, according to Kimberly Crum, head of the city’s personnel office.

Crum said the city will have a list of candidates by Jan. 3 and could have a new director by the end of March.

“We’d like somebody who has worked in the solid waste industry at some level,” preferably in the public sector, Crum said.

Brickhouse was a logistics specialist during her Air Force career.

During her time running Tampa’s solid waste division, Brickhouse won a series of rate increases through 2015 needed to avoid a default on the division’s bonded debt.

She also added less-polluting trucks powered by compressed natural gas to the city’s fleet and switched the recycling system to larger bins that could be emptied by a single worker driving a high-tech truck.

But Brickhouse also presided over $1.5 million in overpayments to Waste Management Inc. for a contract hauling commercial trash in part of the city.

A city audit cited poor record-keeping by both the city and Waste Management as one cause of the overpayments.

The city eventually got back $1.2 million of those funds. kwiatrowski@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @kwiatrowskiTBO

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