Municipal Solid Waste & Recycling RFP Results/Information

The Board of Selectmen sought competitive pricing proposals for all aspects of the solid waste and recycling collection program to become effective July 1, 2018.  We have seized the opportunity to consider changes to the program in response to escalating costs for disposal of trash, a desire to increase recycling, and to enhance the service provided to residents. 
 
As part of the request for proposal submissions, the responding four vendors (Republic, Waste Management, Howland, and Dooley) were asked to submit price proposals for a number of options, which are shown on the spreadsheets (see below):
 
Trash collection
1A – manual collection of municipal solid waste (MSW) in order to compare to current pricing
1B – automated collection of 35g carts from all 5,255 accounts, with an option to service up to 1,000 accounts with a second 35g cart (meant to take advantage of SMART program and related grants while providing option for larger households with advantage for down-sizing as household needs change)
1C – automated collection of 65g carts from all 5,255 accounts
1D – automated collection of 96g carts from all 5,255 accounts
1E – variable size container program (currently used in Brookline) in which households chose the size container and pays a proportionally higher fee for containers greater than 35g (options and fee differential to be determined)
 
2 – Vendors provide a proposal for the cost of recycling materials processing.  While trash is taken to SEMASS under a contract with the Town, recyclable materials are taken to one of a few facilities within reasonably distance from Sharon for a disposal fee, typically reduced by the price for sale of commodities such as glass, cardboard and mixed paper which fluctuates with market changes.  The four vendors took different approaches, but we can assume $45/ton to dispose of recyclable materials, with the potential to spend less in market-favorable months ($20-$40/ton).
 
Recycling collection
3A – current program of automated every other week collection for 5,255 accounts
3B – every other week collection, with up to 1,000 accounts given second cart based on demand
3C – weekly recycling for all 5,255 accounts
 
Bulky waste
4A – Bulky waste collection scheduled by and paid by residents directly with vendor during a specific week each month (2 items per month).  Only Howland proposed a fee per account to have the service available, with residents also absorbing disposal cost. 
4B – Electronics collection scheduled by and paid by residents directly with vendor during a specific week each quarter.  Only Howland proposed a fee per account to have the service available, with residents also absorbing disposal cost. 
 
Town and School collection
5 - Proposals for servicing containers for trash and recycling at municipal buildings and parks, as well as school buildings (see separate detailed spread sheet which shows cost for regularly scheduled stops; unit price column shows cost for “on call” collection which is utilized in summer for schools and during off-season at parks).  Note that these costs are covered within the Town budget financed by taxes, not by the quarterly user fee for trash and recycling collection and disposal.
 
Yard waste
6 - Provides for 6 weeks of collection from late October to early December, 2 weeks of spring clean-up collection to be held on the week that includes the fourth Monday of April and the third Monday of May, and 2 weeks of collection in early January of holiday trees.
 
We plan to shift to an automated collection system (just as was done in 2010 with recycling) to make collection more efficient.  Each household will receive a cart with a hinged lid for weekly trash collection.  The size of the container will be determined by the Selectmen after thorough discussion of the various options.  Any changes required in the quarterly fee to finance the program will be considered as various options are discussed.  We will also consider whether to include pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) bags for purchase at several stores in and near Sharon to accommodate occasional overflow needs.
 
The Board of Selectmen will begin discussion of the results of the RFP submission at their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:15 p.m. at the Community Center.  We expect to conduct further analysis once the preferred options are identified so the Board can make a decision on Tuesday, December 19.