Pelham weighing options on residential trash pickup

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Trash Taxi is among the companies bidding on Pelham's residential trash and recycling service. (File)

The Trash Taxi is among the companies bidding on Pelham’s residential trash and recycling service. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham leaders said they have a chance to save a “significant amount” on the city’s residential trash service, but a delay in the process has drawn concerns from a few companies vying for the job.

During its Aug. 5 meeting, the Pelham City Council voted to reject five bids the city previously received from companies interested in providing Pelham’s residential trash and recycling pickup services.

City Council President Rick Hayes said the council decided to reject the bids and rebid the service at the request of the city’s attorney, who expressed concerns about the original bids.

“On the advice of the city attorney, we we’ve decided to reject all bids and very quickly put a new invitation to bid out there,” Hayes said. “We have an opportunity to save a significant amount of money here.”

The council currently is scheduled to award a bid during its Aug. 19 meeting.

Pelham’s current residential trash and recycling pickup contract is set to expire at the end of September, which would require the company awarded the new contract to begin serving the city in October.

During the Aug. 5 meeting, a few bidders said they were concerned about the timeframe they would have between Aug. 19 and October.

“My concern is the timeline. The timeline as it was was pushing it. This (delay in awarding a bid) makes it extremely difficult,” said Roberto Rodriguez, owner of the Pelham-based Trash Taxi service. “Maybe you could extend the start date. Just give us all a fair chance.”

If awarded the bid, Rodriguez said it would take him about a month-and-a-half to order about 17,000 trash carts and three new trucks to serve the city.

Rodriguez said he was the lowest of the bids rejected by the council on Aug. 5.

“Mine was 28 percent less with more recycling,” Rodriguez said. “Now my numbers are out there for my competition to see. It’s not a fair game.”

Todd White with the Waste Pro company echoed Rodriguez’ concerns on the timeline.

“What he said with the containers is 100 percent true,” White said. “It’s a month-and-a-half out.”

Hayes and Councilman Ron Scott said the council could call a special meeting before Aug. 19 to award a new bid to give the new company more time to prepare.