By Willie Howard
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Waste Management will collect the city’s garbage and recycled materials for at least another six months, the city council decided Wednesday.
The unanimous decision to extend the contract Waste Management has held since 1997 came despite complaints that residents will continue to pay more for garbage collection than they would under bid proposals submitted earlier this year.
Waste Management’s contract expired Sept. 30, but the company has continued to collect garbage in the city.
Wednesday’s decision gives Waste Management the $6 million-a-year garbage contract for at least six months. The contract will be automatically renewed for another six months unless the city gives the company 60 days’ notice of its intent to terminate.[pwal id="13867439" description=""]
Waste Management charges residents $15.53 a month for garbage and recycling collection.
Under bids submitted earlier this year, three garbage firms, including Waste Management, offered to collect garbage for lower monthly fees.
In its proposal for the coming five years, Waste Management offered a residential rate of $10.28 a month. Southern Waste Systems was the low bidder at $9.90 a month.
The top-ranked bidder, Waste Pro, offered residents $14.52 a month as well as promises to hire Riviera Beach residents, to work with minority-owned subcontractors and to pledge $60,000 annually to schools and youth programs in the city.
Waste Pro attorney Andrew DeGraffenreidt said awarding the contract extension to Waste Management without competitive bidding violates the city’s procurement code. He said Waste Pro would file a bid protest.
The process leading to a new garbage provider stalled over the summer after Southern Waste Systems protested a proposal to award the five-year garbage franchise to Waste Pro.
Councilman Shelby Lowe said he favored extending Waste Management’s contract to give the city time to rework the bidding criteria and select a new waste provider.
“It puts us in a better position to negotiate better rates and services for our residents and businesses,” Lowe said.[/pwal][/cleeng_content]