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Recycling and Solid Waste Center Gets Ready for Upgrade

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Recycling and Solid Waste Center Gets Ready for Upgrade

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Nearly a year after a Request for Proposals was issued, Solid Waste Management Division Director Barbara Eckstrom told Legislators that a County review team is ready to recommend a preferred vendor to upgrade and operate the Recycling and Solid Waste Center (RSWC), once the current contract expires next February.

Following lengthy review of six proposals received last February and negotiations with prospective vendors, it is recommended that the service agreement be awarded to FCR Recycling, a firm based in Charlotte, NC owned by Casella Waste. Eckstrom said the recommendation is based on facility capital and operating costs, anticipated revenues, and the greatest potential for waste diversion. "If my projections are correct, we will be doubling the amount of recyclables, and the costs will go down eight to ten times," Eckstrom said.

The Legislature's Facilities and Infrastructure Committee recommends that a five-year service agreement, with option for another five years, be finalized for approval by the Legislature. The proposed agreement is expected to foster significantly greater reuse and recycling at a long-term cost savings, permitting new waste reduction programs and reduction in the Solid Waste Annual Fee when current debt is retired in 2014.

Under the recommended agreement, the site will be dramatically improved to provide safer and more efficient public access. As part of the effort to meet the goal of diverting 75% of materials from landfills by 2015, Eckstrom said functions will include conversion to single-stream recycling without large capital equipment investment. It would also separate residential from commercial recycling, with different methods for handling different types of materials and much commercial recycling baled on site and shipped directly to market.

It's hoped the agreement can be finalized by end of the year, with the new center opened by August 2011.