County mulls trash bid
November 8, 2006
The response last month to Summit County’s request for offers from trash haulers to pick up residential waste for the next five years was less than spectacular.
"There was too much rhetoric in the [request for proposals]. I think it was too bulky," Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme said.
Only Allied Waste Services, the county’s current trash hauler, submitted a legitimate bid.
"A number of issues were raised about why bidders did not come forward," said Kevin Callahan, who is the Summit County Public Works administrator. "Maybe the bidding process was faulty."
Commissioners are now considering scrapping Allied Waste’s proposal and re-bidding the contract, he said.
"We would take Allied’s bid, throw it away and start over again," Callahan said.
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A package the county received from Ace Disposal was a "no-bid proposal," he added.
"When it came down to putting ink on the paper [they] were confused and [ACE] did not know how to bid this. It’s a little bit of keeping their foot in the door," Callahan said.
Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer says he’s not comfortable re-bidding the contract.
"I think we’re looking for equity and fairness," Richer said, acknowledging that Allied Waste submitted a timely offer.
Before another bid process begins, Brent Ovard, chairman of Summit County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee, insisted commissioners examine their options like enabling the county to haul its own residential waste.
Richer and Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott, however, are hesitating to let the county take over.
"I think we should try to keep as many options open as possible right now," said Richer. "It’s an important, significant decision for the next five years."
He says he’s concerned because Public Works didn’t submit a business plan that details a trash-hauling proposal.
"I think we have a really good idea of what it’s all going to cost," Summit County Auditor Blake Frazier said, adding that trash from residents could likely be picked up by the county for around $1.2 million per year.
Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme insisted the county decide whether to bid before the process is reopened to private haulers.
"We’re wasting our time spinning all these wheels," he said.
According to Callahan, the Summit County Commission is not interested in extending Allied Waste’s present contract, which expires next summer.
"It’s likely that the county could do it for less money," Callahan said. "We will be able to get either public or private service for all residential for probably under $1.5 million per year."
Allied Waste’s contract, which currently costs the county about $1 million per year, currently includes picking up trash at businesses in Summit County, Callahan said, adding that, next year, private haulers could begin competing in that market.
Meanwhile, the County Commission is also mulling proposals from Allied Waste and the private County Curbside to provide county residents curbside recycling service, which the county’s proposal would not include.
A decision could be made on a new contract during a meeting scheduled Nov. 29 at the Sheldon Richins Building at Kimball Junction.