Carson City held the first of five planned public open houses on the city’s waste management services.
Carson City’s current contract with Waste Management Inc. ends in June 2019 and the city has hired a consultant, Sloan Vazquez McAfee, Tustin, Calif., to draft a request for proposal (RFP) to take bids for a new contract.
The city is exploring many options for service, including single-stream recycling and possibly moving to mandatory pickup. Currently, somewhere between a fourth to a third of Carson City residents do not use curbside trash pickup.
“Everything is on the table at this point,” said Rick Cooley, construction manager, Carson City Public Works, who with the consultant, Charissa McAfee, hosted the open houses on Wednesday in the Sierra Room at the Community Center.
The city is now seeking public input to help determine the type of services residents want and at what cost. Two weeks ago, a survey on the topic was posted at the city’s web site, carson.org, and has so far been filled out by more 325 respondents, many who included lengthy comment, said Cooley.
The initial open houses attracted less interest. The first two open houses, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., were attended by a total of six people, three residents, two representatives from Waste Management who said they were there to observe, and Tillio Olcese, president, Olcese Waste Services, who said that his firm will likely respond to the RFP.
“I don’t have trash service and I heard you were considering mandatory pickup,” said one resident who takes his trash to the Carson City landfill. “If the $10 fee at the landfill is not enough I have no problem with the cost going up, but I do have a problem with mandatory pickup.”
Cooley said the landfill fees are low for the region and a separate rate study on that will be done and the rates then likely adjusted.
And while the goal of mandatory pickup is to drive costs down, said Cooley, the city has not decided whether that’s the way to go.
Mandatory pickup, which would be specified in the RFP, would likely attract more bids because vendors would have a greater and guaranteed number of customers, said McAfee.
Cooley said the city thinks as many as four vendors may respond to the RFP.
He said the goal is to draft the RFP and take it to the Board of Supervisors in March for direction and return to the board with a final document in May. Ultimately, many of the decisions, such as mandatory pickup, is a policy choice to be made by the board.
The RFP could then be issued in the summer and the contract awarded by the end of the year, giving the winning vendor six months to prepare.
Cooley said there would be plenty of opportunity to comment, during the board meetings and anytime before the RFP is published.
Comments can be emailed to email@example.com. The questionnaire is also still online at the city web site at http://carson.org/government/departments-g-z/information-technology/solid-waste-services-questionnaire
Three more open houses are scheduled on Feb. 20, at 6-8 p.m., and on March 7, at 2-4 p.m. and again at 6-8 p.m.