Waste Connections of Missouri, Inc., of Bridgeton, is the future trash, recycling and yard waste collection vendor for Crestwood, per a unanimous board of aldermen vote on Dec. 11.
The contract with the city’s current vendor, Meridian Waste Services, runs through March 31.
The new waste management vendor becomes effective April 1, said City Administrator Kris Simpson. Crestwood’s residential waste pickup schedule will be the same, and the recycling service will remain single-stream curbside, he added.
This vendor change came after Crestwood staffers requested public bids during October-November. Simpson said four bids were received, and another bid was rejected for non-compliance with the specifications.
Other companies that responded with bids were Meridian, Waste Management of Missouri, and Republic Services.
Alderman Mimi Duncan said the monthly per-household fee with Meridian was $18.23, so the projected per-household cost of $19 with Waste Connections was not a huge difference. However, she said she believed Waste Connection’s practice of using fossil fuel to truck recycling to Hutchinson, Kansas, was counterproductive.
Linda Jones, Waste Connections municipal account manager, said that once they knew one of St. Louis’ two recycle processing centers was closing on Nov. 1, they spent four months assessing strategies.
“Recyclables now are being taken to our own processing plant, with glass, for example, being ground up and going to a shingle maker. Everything’s separated and then shipped to other end users. We’ve found a way to make it all still work, and keep a healthy single-stream for our company,” she said.
The city’s agreement with Waste Connections is a three-year contract with an option of extending the agreement for an additional two-year period. However, Crestwood residents pay the collection vendor directly for solid waste, recycling and yard waste disposal.
Crestwood Public Works Director James Gillam said the following evaluation criteria were considered for the bids: monthly fees, bulk item fees, discounted fees, cart rentals, recycling programs, field service and customer service.
“These seven items were discussed, ranked and weighted to determine a score, which was then totalled to find the most responsive bid to the request,” he added.
Gillam said the request for bids included two alternative options, with the second excluding a discount for residents 65 years and older.
The main bid option included a handful of points:
1. A standard monthly fee for unlimited curbside collection for solid waste, yard waste and recycling that would be picked up in resident- or city-provided containers.
2. Given that Crestwood recycling was a single-stream program, potential contractors were requested to identify items they would collect in one container.
3. The collection fee for senior/disabled citizens with limited income would be 27.5 percent of the standard monthly fee. Gillam said Crestwood has nearly 200 households that participate in this program.
4. Handicap pickups that allow residents to have containers emptied and returned near their house are performed. Gillam said approximately 30 households currently have that service.
5. The cost for a new senior citizen program for households with at least one person 65 or older would be 90 percent of the standard fee. Gillam said this set of households would have to be developed and administered by the contractor, but that it’s estimated 850 households will participate in this initiative.
Alderman Jerry Miguel said he received several emails and phone calls in support of Meridian’s service.
“The dollar bids were really close, with some of the factors being customer service and intangibles,” he said.
Waste Connections has been operating for 21 years, confirmed Jones. She said their disposal facility is state-of-the-art Champ Landfill, a hole in Maryland Heights that was a former quarry near Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis.
Jones said the company also services the nearby cities of Des Peres, Warson Woods, Rock Hill, Eureka and Pacific.