City selects trash companies; citywide recycling included

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen selected Waste Pro USA for waste collection and recycling and Riverbend Environmental Services for disposal services for a combined rate of $911,520 at the board’s Tuesday meeting.

The Waste Pro collection and recycling contract will include twice-a-week trash pick-up, once-a-week recycling pick-up, a 65-gallon trashcan with wheels and a lid for each household and an 18-gallon recycling bin for each household.

The combined price of the collection and disposal contracts rose from the first contracts the city awarded to Waste Pro and Riverbend in November, which totaled $785,250.

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The overall pricetag rose, Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith said after the meeting, because the request for proposal expanded to include a citywide recycling program, once-a-week recycling and trashcans for households.

Rates for residents will not increase, Mayor Butch Brown said.

The previous RFP, Smith said, only included costs for a recycling pilot program for 1,700 houses, every-other-week recycling pick-up and did not include trashcans.

The city’s selection is the second time it has awarded the contracts to the two companies. Waste Management, the company that previously held the contract for both collection and disposal, sued the city after the first round of negotiations late last year.

A circuit court judge ruled the city had erred in the process and required the city to go through the request for proposal process again.

The city took proposals with rates broken down by what it would cost per household for the approximately 6,000 households in the city year by year.

Waste Pro’s rates start at $11.26 for the first year and go to $13.05 for the sixth year, as a contract may be up to six years. The CPI increase would take effect after the second year.

Waste Management’s rates are $13.02 for every year, with a CPI increase taking effect immediately.

Red River and Arrow also submitted proposals for waste collection and recycling.

Riverbend’s rate is $14 per ton. City of Natchez Attorney Hyde Carby said the city produces an average of 600 tons of waste per month. It varies from 580-610 tons, he said.

Aldermen agreed that the length of the Waste Pro contract should be two years with an option to renew for another two years at the end of the first two-year period. Carby advised the board that the first two years should give the city enough time to assess the cost of the new expanded trash and recycling program and also not lock the city into a long-term contract. According to the law, the collection contract can be for no more than six years.

“By going for a shorter term … we can give ourselves room to grow this program in a way that we can afford it,” he said.

A cost-of-living increase measured by the consumer price index would be added on to the contract cost beginning after the second year, Carby said.

The aldermen agreed that they would like the length of the disposal contract to be 10 years, as to not lock themselves into a long-term contract. In the past the contract with Waste Management was 25 years, the maximum allowed by law.

All of the board’s requests for the contract are pending that Waste Pro and Riverbend agree to the terms of the contracts. The board authorized Brown and Carby to negotiate the final terms of the contract, which they are permitted to do by law.

The city opened the proposals last week to review them in preparation to select companies to negotiate with at Tuesday’s meeting. Carby said the city is permitted to open the proposals privately per the state Department of Finance and Administration’s manual of procurement to protect the competitiveness of the bids.

The city by statute, Carby said, is allowed to select more than one company to negotiate with after the RFP process. Had the city made the proposals public and selected more than one company to negotiate with, the competitiveness of the proposals would have been compromised. Carby and Brown opened the proposals with Smith and Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard as witnesses.