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Published: Wednesday, 2/9/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

Lucas Co. can seek trash pickup contractor

Commissioners OK ads for Toledo work


Gerken Gerken
The Lucas County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved advertising for a private waste hauler to take over collecting the trash of Toledo's 95,500 households.

The move follows a request from Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, who is hoping to achieve savings of about $7 million a year by shedding municipal garbage collection.

Board President Pete Gerken said the request for proposals has already been discussed with some of the major local private trash-collection firms. He said the proposal request will be advertised locally and in trade publications. Bidders will have until March 31 to respond.

According to the draft proposal request approved yesterday on a 3-0 vote, bidders will be offered the option of buying the city's recently purchased collection of automated trash trucks, but the trash collection barrels would remain under city ownership.

The city is offering its vehicles at $175,000 each, or $7 million in all, to be paid up front. According to the proposal, the city owns 40 automated, side-loading, compacting refuse and recycling collection vehicles. Each is equipped with radio frequency identification of trash carts and GPS tracking systems.

The contractor will be asked to provide weekly garbage collection, weekly or every-other-week recycling, four bulk collections a year, a price on additional bulk pickups, and an incentive package for people to recycle more. The contract would be for five years.

Mr. Gerken said that the benefit for the county is to serve one of its waste management district members and that the district will earn more money on recycling by gaining the city's recycling.

"We'll see what we get," Mr. Gerken said. "Ultimately this is a decision the City Council is going to have to make. We are happy to partner with the city," he said.

Mr. Gerken said the trash collection would be done under the supervision of the Lucas County Waste Management District, of which the city of Toledo is a member.

He said it's possible that other subdivisions, including cities, villages, or townships, would be interested in joining the contract. The request for a proposal says the winning bidder would have to allow other Lucas County jurisdictions to join within the next five years if they wish to.

The contract would also allow the bidder to use the city's LEAP Forward collection scheduling process, or offer some other way of scheduling trash collection. LEAP Forward lets the city avoid collecting trash on holidays and weekends but creates confusion as well because residents' collection days change after every paid holiday.

On Jan. 11, City Council voted 8-4 to allow the Lucas County Solid Waste Management District to seek proposals for taking over refuse collection.

Mayor Bell has said that the alternative is to more than double the current $8.50 monthly trash collection fee most residents pay.

Contract Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.

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