Fort Worth, TX – Planning and Procuring for Curbside Collection

Fort Worth Curbside Collection ServiceComprehensive Planning and Procurement Services—City of Fort Worth, TX

GBB assisted the City of Fort Worth, Texas in planning and procuring collection and processing services for the various solid waste and recyclables streams generated by the 150,000 single-family and duplex residences and over 1,600 of the smaller selected businesses in this City of over 500,000 residents. In addition, GBB helped the City to procure a lessee/operator for its Southeast Landfill and secure long-term disposal services for the portion of the City’s waste that cannot be recycled and/or processed for beneficial use. GBB initially evaluated the City’s needs and identified strategies to:

  1. maximize diversion to recycling,
  2. improve waste and recyclables management, and
  3. lower costs to waste generators and increase revenues to the City.

GBB held internal workshops with the City and organized a diverse team, representing several City departments, for the comprehensive procurement of solid waste and recyclables management services under an aggressive schedule set by City Council. GBB prepared the procurement documents, conducted a briefing for potential contractors prior to the procurement, and held a pre-proposal conference with potential contractors shortly after issuance of the final RFP. As a result of the extensive outreach process to the contracting community, in advance of and during the procurement process, the City received several competitive proposals for services and the lease and operation of its Southeast Landfill.

GBB assisted the City in evaluation of proposals and negotiation of long-term contracts with multiple contractors. It is anticipated that the City will obtain significant savings over its current system costs, which includes both City-provided and contractor-provided services, and will realize substantial revenues in the form of lease rentals and royalties.

Procurement of a Lessee/Operator for the City’s Southeast Landfill

GBB helped to procure a lessee/operator for the City’s Southeast Landfill and secure long-term disposal services for the portion of the City’s waste that is not recycled and/or processed for beneficial use. The GBB Project Team assisted the City in deciding whether to retain ownership and continue to operate the Southeast Landfill or to sell or lease the Landfill to a qualified private contractor. The City decided to pursue a competitive procurement of a lease and operate contractor, with the City retaining landfill ownership. GBB assisted in preparing the procurement documents, evaluation of proposals, proposer interviews, and negotiations with the selected proposer, Allied Waste (dba Trinity Waste Services).

The Lease and Operating Agreement between the City and Trinity, with performance guaranty by Allied Waste industries, Inc. (which was acquired by Republic Services, Inc. in 2008), provides substantial financial benefits and security features for the City.

Transition Support

GBB provided the City with certain transition support services as the City implemented its new system of privatized services and waste management techniques that require adjustment by City residents. These include single-stream recyclables collection in carts, point-to-point collection of large bulky waste and brush, and conversion from “unlimited plastic bags” to roll-out carts for garbage storage and collection.

Under the new PAYT system and corresponding curbside recycling program, implemented in March 2003, Fort Worth’s recycling rate has jumped from 6 percent to 20 percent, and 70 percent of households now recycle, up from just 38 percent. The economic effects are just as encouraging: 92 percent of residents pay less for garbage disposal than they did under the old system, and the city is saving, too. The cost for municipal solid waste disposal has dropped from almost $32 million under the old system to approximately $24 to $25 million under PAYT, and the city earned $540,000 from the sale of recycled materials over the course of a year. With a promising first year under its belt, the program continues to expand. In the Spring of 2004, the program served 163,000 households, and a new route was being added every six weeks.

To design a PAYT system that best suited the needs of its residents, Fort Worth consulted a number of resources, including EPA’s PAYT materials, GBB, and a supplier of waste disposal carts. The city also considered extensive data gathered from its seven year pilot project, which presented 8,000 residents with various combinations of recycling, cart, and rate options. Gathering information from a variety of sources allowed the city to define its budget, select containers, set rates, and design an outreach program that would make the transition easier on residents.

In keeping with the goals of the 1995 solid waste management plan, PAYT has also helped Fort Worth make the most of its landfill space—a long-term concern for any MSW program. By separating its waste through PAYT, Fort Worth is also managing its waste more efficiently.

Combined with increased recycling, Fort Worth’s landfill management efforts are paying off. Since March 2003, the city has kept 30,791 tons of recyclables, 11,369 tons of yard trimmings, and 2,618 tons of brush out of landfills. That extension of landfill life will ease taxpayer burden in the long run.