Residents will see no change in cost and service when the new solid waste and recycling collection contract goes into effect April 1. At its meeting last week, the Waxahachie City Council voted to reject all bids submitted from IESI, Allied Republic, Waste Management and Community Wide Disposal.

This allowed the council to renegotiate the current contract the city has with IESI. The new contract will be for 10 years with a 10-year renewal option, if both the city and IESI agree to continue to do business.

“I think the way the council and the city staff approached it, we started early in the process and had a time line that changed quite often but we tried to stick with it pretty close. By doing that we were able to meet the deadlines and do things that were necessary to get a good fair request for proposals out,” director of environmental health Sonny Wilson said.

“After we got the RFPs back, we started analyzing them. We realized that we got some really good bids. I was nervous about it because everywhere you look everything is going up. I was afraid that we were going to get hit with some increase in rates,” he said.

The bids were looked at line by line and each charge was examined for services offered and compared to the existing contract. In some cases rates were lower and other times they were higher than what was being paid. On the majority of services, IESI had the low bid, Wilson said.

“What we saw is that there were times when some of the businesses were a little cheaper on some of the services but not all of them. You have to take all of that into account. Like on a 2-yard container, one company might be $3 cheaper than IESI but they charge $50 more to deliver the container than charged by IESI. Then that is not a low bid,” Wilson said.

“We decided that the best thing for the city would be to reject all bids and then negotiate a renewal contract with IESI.  By doing that we could start over and negotiate with IESI (and) they told us that their intent was not to raise rates at all,” he said.

The new contract is a hybrid of the bid and existing contract. If a charge for services was lower in the existing contract than on the bid then that charge was used. If a charge for services was lower on the bid then that charge was used on the existing contract. After Wilson proposed the idea to IESI, both the city attorney and IESI attorney checked to see if legally could be done and it could. 

Services continuing under the new contract are twice a week curbside trash pickup for residents and recycling collection once a week. Residents will continue to receive four free collections a year of brush and tree limbs totaling 32 cubic yards. The free once a year curbside pickup of a bulk item will continue.

Unlimited brush and yard waste collections will continue at the convenience station on Lions Park Road. The station operates from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and residents have to bring proof residency, such as a water bill, to drop off brush and yard waste there.  The once a year household hazardous waste collection day taking place (this year) at the station May 7 will continue. This event allows residents to properly dispose of items such as paints, motor oil, cooking oil, batteries and insecticides. Through an interlocal agreement with the city of Fort Worth, those items are taken to a disposal plant where they are disposed of properly.

The commercial service will continue with IESI services ranging from once a week up to six days a week. The contract includes collection at all city facilities and operations.

Service was started with IESI in October 2002, after the company purchased the contract from Best Disposal.

“We entertained the idea of going to poly carts and did a little survey. We didn’t get a whole lot of response on the survey. Overall, the majority, which was a small segment of our residents that did it, the majority decided they wanted to keep things the same. So it is still going to be hand collection picked up twice a week. One of the big things that people were concerned about with the poly carts is, first of all, we have residents in the city that don’t have places to store something like that and they are worried about it sitting outside by the curb all week,” he said.

“In the future, if there is a neighborhood that would like to go to poly carts and would like to try it as a trial we could possible do that,” Wilson said. “It would have to be all or none in that neighborhood. When you go to poly carts you cut your service down to once a week. You get a larger recycling container and 95 gallon poly cart and that is it.”

For questions about solid waste and recycling services, contact Wilson at City Hall at 972-937-7330, ext. 150.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.