Board should reject bids for city’s trash contract

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The recommendation by the city’s solid waste committee that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen reject all proposals for solid waste collection and re-advertise is on target and we hope the board agrees with that advice May 10.

While the companies submitting the proposals obviously may not agree, it is the right move.

The committee’s reasons for recommending the board reject the proposals and re-advertise are sound: basically, the majority of bidders did not meet the requirements spelled out in the city’s request for proposals.

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One company failed to provide the required references from other customers; three others failed to provide the required financial information, while another failed to provide its prices on the required form that also included a customer count.

Another provided all the required information, but did not provide information on the sites where it planned to dispose the waste.

Public officials who have served in local government for any amount of time will quickly tell anyone services like garbage collection and utilities are critical, and when they’re not functioning properly, they hear about it from angry constituents demanding action to correct the problem. That’s why it’s important the Board of Mayor and Aldermen make the right decision when it comes to the selection of a company to provide this critical service to the city.

And if the city is going to hire a company to provide regular solid waste collection, it needs to make sure that company is financially sound and capable of doing what is required under the contract to provide the service.

But there is another issue facing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Time.

With the city’s contract with Waste Management set to expire June 30, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen need to move swiftly but carefully to get a provider under contract soon, and that means moving faster than it did with the original bid process.

It won’t have a lot of time to advertise and then let the committee perform an in depth review.

Rejecting the bids and re-advertising for solid waste service is the right thing to do, but let’s hope the board has not put itself in a position where it will be unable to do the due diligence and pick a company that will serve the city well.