Monday, May 12, 2014

City Intent on Recycling Trashaway-Republic Contract

The City of San Angelo offered two main reasons for Trashaway-Republic's bid being selected for a negotiated contract.  The first:

Republic was the only vendor to offer a plan to align with San Angelo’s three existing recycling collectors. The City Council has expressed an interest in such an arrangement to ensure that those enterprises are not put out of business.
This was not in the overall RFP or the subsection on Waste Collection Specifications, nor could it be found in the Landfill Lease and Operations Specifications.  It appears vendors were uninformed of what became a distinguishing criteria for the city to choose Trashaway-Republic.  How did Trashaway-Republic become aware of this criteria?

What if the city chose a distinguishing, unspecified criteria that won't come into play?  RFP Addendum #1 Appendix D states:

a.  When will the City decide whether to include recyclables material collection under an exclusive contract?

Response: City Council has stated they currently do not wish to include recyclables in an exclusive contract.
On to the second stated reason for choosing Trashaway-Republic:

Also, TDS’ proposed rate for residential trash pickup (including the recycling component) was 64 percent higher than Republic’s proposed rate.
TDS's response to this came from CEO Bob Gregory:

While TDS has no idea what Republic Services has offered the City for residential trash and recyclables collection or any other service in their RFP response, and cannot know if this is a true statement, it is important to note that TDS responded to the RFP with seven different options and rate plans for residential trash and recyclables collection.  The service level that the City staff chose to publicize (weekly collection of both trash and recyclables with separate carts) was the highest rate that we provided.  TDS offered options for every other week single stream recycling which lowered the monthly rate substantially.  Every other week single stream recycling service is considered the standard service level in most parts of the country.  This is because the size of the recycling cart is large enough to be serviced every other week, instead of weekly.  This option also significantly reduces truck traffic on City roads. Were any of the other TDS proposals considered in the evaluation, or was only the most expensive once weekly recyclable collection service option evaluated?  None of the other TDS options were mentioned in the briefing or in the published statements of the PIO. Given the City staff’s mention of Republic’s alignment with recycling collectors, I wonder whether the City staff is comparing a full blown single stream recycling program with a program allowing a local subcontractor to collect recyclables with or without an additional charge to residents.  Nevertheless, City staff should have acknowledged whether its price comparison is for comparable service. 
The city has been silent to date on Mr. Gregory's questions. 

It would be odd to exclude a vendor based on a service not specified and another service that's unwanted.  There are other interesting tidbits in the RFP documents, but I'll save those for another post. 

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