After 16 years of collecting garbage in Coeur d’Alene, Waste Management has lost its contract with the city.
The City Council on Tuesday night voted 5-1 to award a new contract for garbage and recycling collection to Coeur d’Alene Garbage Service, the lowest of three bidders.
The company, which hauls for Post Falls, Hayden, Dalton Gardens, Rathdrum and other communities in Kootenai County, was awarded a 10-year contract for residential and commercial collection in Coeur d’Alene starting July 1.
Waste Management, the nation’s largest waste hauler, has been the city’s provider since 2000 under an agreement through Kootenai County. That agreement is ending, prompting the city to initiate a contract directly with a provider.
Coeur d’Alene Garbage, operated by Northern State PAK, submitted a low base bid of $196,026 a month. Waste Management’s base bid was the highest, at $241,630 a month. Sunshine Disposal & Recycling bid $230,381.
“The bottom line for me is we’re saving folks $6.5 million over 10 years,” Councilman Woody McEvers said.
Waste Management raised questions about the bid process and asked the city to start over.
“It’s tough for Waste Management to be sitting here fighting for this contract,” said Andrew Kenefick, a lawyer for company.
Sunshine Disposal objected to how the city calculated the lowest bid.
Philip Damiano, owner of Coeur d’Alene Garbage, defended his company’s proposal.
“These complaints have no merit whatsoever,” Damiano said of his competitors’ objections. “Sounds like sore losers to me.”
Ron Nilson, president and CEO of Ground Force Worldwide, encouraged the council to accept the bid from Coeur d’Alene Garbage.
“Waste Management lost this. It should be over,” Nilson said.
Several council members said they were uncomfortable with details of the process and language in the new contract. The city attorney’s office said the process was legal, fair and thorough.
The city asked the bidders to include strategies for recycling or reusing glass containers, which now end up in the landfill in Kootenai County.
Coeur d’Alene Garbage said it will place drop boxes around the city in which glass containers can be deposited, and will collect the glass and divert it from the waste stream. The city has not yet identified how it wants the glass to be recycled.
Waste Management proposed adding curbside glass recycling for just 95 cents a month per customer.
Coeur d’Alene Garbage will provide new garbage and recycling carts throughout the city.
Residents now pay between $8.60 and $10.50 a month for garbage and recycling pickup.
Those rates are not expected to decrease under the new contract, but the low bid will allow the city to forestall price increases, city officials said.
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