MOUNT HOLLY – The city has entered a five-year agreement with Waste Pro to collect recycling from Mount Holly residents, effective July 1.
The decision to bid the in-house recycling collections was a result of the market conditions that warranted comparison to the city's in-house cost for service, the city said in a press release.
"In an effort to be proactive, the City of Mount Holly chose to seek proposals from commercial companies that engage in recycling services to municipalities like ours," Mayor Danny Jackson wrote in the city's May newsletter. "These type of companies conducts such work on a routine basis and has a relationship in the industry that is more conducive to processing such materials than we can."
Disposing of recycling materials in a landfill is illegal, per state law. In January 2015, the City of Mount Holly initiated recycling collections to be provided by its Streets and Solid Waste Department. ReCommunity Holdings (later purchased by Republic Services) and the city entered into a contract for recycling materials disposal services.
On June 11, 2018, the city received notification from Republic Services indicating that the agreement, which had previously negotiated a contractual extension until Jan. 12, 2019, would not extend and would cease on July 11, 2018. The municipal services manager of Republic Services was contacted, and the city received notification that the recycling market was experiencing changes throughout the country, most specifically, the surrounding Charlotte region.
Due to this change in the national recycling market that affected the cost structure of Republic Services, Mount Holly residents saw an increase in their monthly recycling fee in July 2018, to $5.25 per customer from $3.
City staff also made a recommendation to city council then that recycling operations be rebid to recycling vendors/haulers during the one-year agreement timeframe between Republic Services and the city.
With the current Republic disposal contract expiring on July 1, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was prepared and advertised on Feb. 3 with two vendors responding with proposals Waste Pro of North Carolina Inc. at $4.16 per customer per month and Republic Services of North Carolina, LLC at $8. An in-house cost was prepared during the RFP process, with a final cost of $5.34 for the city to provide biweekly recycling collection and disposal services.
This RFP specifically lists the evaluation criterion that includes many factors such as fee; experience with similar services; office administration experience; ability to meet schedules; qualifications and abilities of key individuals; references; and an office in the Mount Holly region.
Waste Pro, which also collects for Belmont and other Charlotte-area towns, was approved during the March 11 city council meeting to provide this service for $4.16 per customer per month. Internal costs to manage the recycling program and to provide recycling containers to customers will have to be factored into the fee that the City charges customers. Pending the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget approval, the recycling fee schedule is being considered to be reduced to $5.
There is a contract extension provision for increments of two years.
"I want you all to know that the circumstances with the recycling industry are beyond our control, but we have to react to them in a way that achieves the greater good of providing services to our citizens in the best and most economical way under the law," Jackson wrote.
Waste Pro trucks might be seen driving through city prior to July 1 as the company's drivers acclimate to the new routes.
Residents’ assigned recycling day will not change. The city will still collect garbage, yard waste and bulk items. For more information, residents are encouraged to contact the Streets and Solid Waste Department at 704-827-9726.