Sanitation Changes Explained
I want to, once again, take a moment to address some of the concerns I’ve heard about changes to our sanitation service.
First, why did we change?
We contract with sanitation providers for three years at a time. Our current contract with Republic was expiring at the end of this year, so we went out for bid per Town policy. We knew that this would result in a rate change because the costs to provide this service has gone up, so we went into this with the mindset that we may be looking at a new provider. We also had to take into consideration the fact the we had begun to see a huge increase in service complaints about Republic over the last couple of years with little to no improvement after several discussions.
Four companies submitted bids: AMWaste, GA Waste, Republic, and WatePro. For standard service (1 trash bin and 1 recycling bin), the bids were:
GA Waste: $69.42/quarter
Waste Pro: $74.01/quarter
All of the firms except Republic submitted alternate bids:
AMWaste: $54.51 for a one bin solution.
GA Waste: $61.50 for a smaller trash bin and a separate recycling bin, but recycling would only run every other week.
Waste Pro: $63.51 per quarter if recylcing was only performed every other week and no loose bags were allowed to be placed at the curb.
Town policy requires that we contract with the “lowest responsible bidder.” This means the bidder who can provide the service requested at the best price. AMWaste’s alternate bid fit this requirement.
We realize that a single bin may not be large enough for every home. This is why AMWaste has offered to 1. pick up loose bags placed at the curb or on top of the can and 2. provide a second bin for only $2.50 per month. At $62.01 per quarter for two large bins and weekly service, this is still a better price and option than any other provider has offered.
I know a lot of our citizens have wanted to use Pollard, so I reached out to them directly and invited them to bid. They attended the pre-bid conference, but did not submit a bid for consideration.
Why have rates increased so much?
The cost to do pretty much everything has gone up, but the recycling industry was dealt a huge blow a couple of years ago after China stopped importing recycled materials. Read more here Recycling Crisis and here As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling.
This was another issue that made AMWaste’s solution more intriguing. Instead of standard recycling that is much more expensive now, they have partnered with Re-Power South and use their technology to sort waste and produce recyled material that does not rely on China’s buying power.
Trust issues with the one-bin system…
I understand that there is some concern about whether or not AMWaste is really going to take your bagged trash and somehow go through it to separate the waste from the recycling. We have looked into Re-Power South (the firm AMWaste has partered with for separation and recycling) and trust that their system works. They’ve received a lot of very positive media coverage. You can find links to more information in a previous email I sent here. You can also see their system in action in the video below:
We understand that change is anxiety inducing – we were not looking forward to a change, either. We know that the new service is different, probably not what you expected, and that a lot of you are concerned. However, this change was inevitable and we believe AMWaste is going to provide a great service. If not, we will work with them as we go to make it better.
I hope this information clears up at least some of the confusion. If not, please reach out to us.
Brandon Perkins, MBA, ICMA-CM