• December 18, 2014

Killeen council defers decision on recycling contract

Item to be on Feb. 4 agenda

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Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council was presented with four proposals at its Tuesday workshop meeting, as it moves toward a citywide recycling initiative, but the local businessman behind one of the proposals said he’s never seen the numbers city staff presented to the council.

The council was given proposals submitted by four companies vying to collect on the city’s lucrative recycling contract as Killeen moves from curbside recycling to single-stream recycling, which would mean an estimated 7,200 tons of recyclables annually.

Those vying for the contract are Austin-based Balcones Resources; Austin-based Texas Disposal Systems; Killeen-based Centex Metals; and WILCO Recycling, located just outside of Austin.

Michael Cleghorn, the city’s director of solid waste, presented a side-by-side comparison of each company’s proposals to the council following a request for more information after a special workshop Jan. 14.

In the special workshop, the council was presented only with information from staff-recommended Balcones.

Dick Young, with locally owned Centex Metals, told the council following Tuesday’s presentation that he didn’t know where the numbers presented by staff regarding Centex’s operating costs came from.

In the presentation, Centex’s operating cost was estimated to be $1.1 million in the first year, based on the company’s offer of paying the city $60 per ton for recyclables.

“The numbers (the council) received tonight as far as what our overhead costs are, we have never seen those numbers,” Young said. “We don’t agree with those numbers.”

Scott Osburn, city public works director, said after the meeting, the numbers presented to staff regarding operating costs were assumptions used to “simply demonstrate to the council that city staff believes that additional costs are involved with processing single-stream recycling into discreet commodity units for ultimate sale in the open market.”

Centex Metals was rated No. 3 by a committee of seven people who evaluated the proposals to make a recommendation to the council. Centex agreed to pay the city a minimum of $60 per ton for recyclables collected, and lease the city’s transfer station for $1,125 per month.

“We’re right here,” Young told the council. “We employ locally, we live here, we educate our families here. We want to be a part of the community and we want to give back.”

Balcones, who was ranked No. 1 by the committee and recommended to the council, offered the city in its proposal $5 per ton for recyclables and stated the leasing of the transfer station is negotiable.

Kerry Getter, CEO of Balcones, said he believes Balcones responded to the city’s request for proposal “in a way that was very clear.”

“What we want to do as a company is evolve in a relationship with the city of Killeen,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us and this is an opportunity (for the city) to establish a program with residential single-stream recycling and then expand it to the commercial sector.”

Mayor Dan Corbin asked Getter if he “could envision (Centex) staying in business paying (the city) $60 a ton” for its recyclables.

“I could not; I don’t understand that,” Getter said. “We could not do that if we were next door.”

After the meeting, Young said he didn’t understand why Corbin would ask his competitor if Centex was capable of paying the amount it offered.

WILCO was ranked No. 2, offering the city $10 per ton and opted out of leasing the city’s transfer station. Texas Disposal Systems was ranked No. 4, offering $1.99 to $4.99 per ton, depending on the amount being recycled. They also chose not to lease the city’s transfer station.

According to the data presented to the council, at 7,200 tons being recycled annually with less than 10 percent being contaminated, the city would net annual revenues of $122,400 from Balcones, $805,500 from Centex, including lease income; $17,928 from Texas Disposal Company and $36,000 from WILCO.

The council deferred forming a consensus on endorsing a proposer to move forward with, saying more time was needed to evaluate each proposal.

Council members agreed to put the item on the Feb. 4 workshop agenda for discussion.

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