Thursday, September 27, 2018

Republic Gets Answers from U.S. Cities on Recycling Concerns

San Angelo's City Council heard from citizens last night about possible changes to its trash contract with Republic Services.  The public meeting is worth the watch.

Republic has approached San Angelo about needing to rethink a 10-year contract - signed in 2014 - after local processor Butts Recycling quadrupled its price last month. The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that options include raising rates, scaling back the program or cutting it entirely. 
Republic Services employed various strategies in response to recycling changes in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

Arab, Alabama denied Republic Services request for a contract change.  WasteDive reported:

Republic Services asked Arab for a cost increase in June, but after exploring its options, WAFF reports that Arab decided to stay the course. Its contract terms are technically still valid through May 2020.
Alaska municipalities are wrestling with the same concern.

Multiple communities were informed by Republic Services and others that markets for their mixed paper, and in some cases mixed plastic, no longer existed.
Arizona communities experience includes:

Municipalities and MRF operators throughout the state begin reporting more issues, with hints that some material is now being disposed, according to The Arizona Republic. Republic Services tells CBS 5 News that it continues to meet with municipalities about potential contract changes. The town of Bisbee considers cuts to its drop-off program, according to the San Pedro Valley News-Sun, and is landfilling low-value materials.

Arizona Daily Star reports on wide-ranging issues in the state, focusing on a host of potential changes in Tuscon such as reduced collection or higher fees. The city's recycling program is projected to run a $500,000 deficit this fiscal year and local MRFs are reporting high contamination rates. Green Valley News later reports that Republic is still moving material at its local MRF and has even offered skeptical residents ride-alongs to prove recycling continues as usual.

Kankakee, Illinois held Republic to the terms of its contract.

Republic Services, the city’s waste hauler, recently stated the curbside program was being discontinued because so much of the recyclable materials in the containers were not acceptable.
However, the city administration explored the matter and determined Republic would not be living up to the terms of the contract, and after discussions with the company, it was agreed the program would continue as it has for several years.
In Indiana Republic will raise prices.

Republic Services is nearly doubling rates for Indianapolis residents, the maximum allowed under its contract.
St. Lous, Missouri citizens are luckier:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on cost pressures for the local Republic Services MRF and its regional customers. Mixed paper is reportedly moving at a loss, though Republic said pricing is better than it was a couple months ago and no program changes are currently being considered.
Missoula, Montana restricted the types of plastics that could be recycled:

Republic Services and Garden City Recycling stop taking mixed plastics #3-7 in the Missoula and Lake County area, according to the Missoulian. Glacier National Park does the same, while Yellowstone hasn't made changes yet.
The City of Brotherly Love will pay Republic more while other Keystone state communities have long term contracts with Republic.

Philadelphia's recycling budget could take a $2 million hit this year now that it's paying Republic Services $38 per ton, according to The Inquirer. Others, such as Camden County, may be spared for now due to long-term agreements.
The City of San Angelo has a long term agreement with Republic Services.  Will City Council hold Republic to it, amend the agreement or rebid a new scope of trash/landfill services?

Update 3-4-19:  This video link highlights how City Council caved to Republic Service.

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