Recycling

Employees move waste for recycling at the solid waste transfer station in Killeen on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

The city of Killeen is looking for a company that will provide one-day-a-week trash pickup and — possibly — curbside recycling, according to bid documents posted online Monday.

In its Request for Proposals for private bidders, the city of Killeen provided three options for its desired residential solid waste enterprise — one modeled on its current service and two alternatives. The city is also seeking bids for its light commercial and commercial solid waste services.

The Killeen City Council directed the city to seek private bids on the service Nov. 28. The proposals are due to the city March 16.

In its “base plan,” the city is looking for contractors that will provide one-day-a-week residential pickup for a tiered cart size system with 32-, 64- and 96-gallon options. The contractor would be required to pay a 9 percent franchise fee to the city’s general fund as part of its agreement.

The city’s current solid waste enterprise pays that 9 percent franchise fee to the general fund.

The city’s first alternative would limit those options to only a 96-gallon cart with weekly pickups.

The notable addition, as outlined in the city’s second alternative to the base plan, is the return of curbside recycling, which the council voted to dissolve in August 2016.

The city’s proposed plan would provide a 96-gallon trash cart and a 96-gallon recycling cart to each residence that would each be picked up once a week. In return, the contractor would pay the city $10,000 monthly in recycling sales fees on top of a 9 percent franchise fee due to the city.

Alleviating concerns over city employees losing their jobs in the privatization, the city asked bidders to provide a path to hiring for the department’s 87 employees, which would go beyond a contractor only “considering” the employees for employment.

“The Contractor shall be required to hire displaced Solid Waste Department employees that meet basic qualifications and not just be “considered” for a position,” the request read. “The Contractor cannot pre-hire additional staff to avoid this requirement.”

The city is also asking for a contractor to provide all of its own collection equipment but doesn’t clarify whether the contractor would be asked to consider buying city trucks. The request also requires contractors to move refuse and recycling from the city’s designated drop-off sites and act “in good faith” to continue the city’s contracts with Waste Management and Comal, which transport the city’s trash and recycling.

Those contracts end in 2020.

The contractor would be allowed, per the request, to request an annual rate increase from the city on its commercial and residential services after one year of operation. The rates would not be allowed to exceed 75 percent of the consumer price index, which measures changes in the market price of consumer goods and services.

As part of the request, the city is prohibiting firms from ex parte communications with city staff and the council, prohibiting any lobbying on behalf of specific firms.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(1) comment

Armain

Am I to understand that almost 10% of my current solid waste bill is a hidden tax that goes to the City of Killeen? How much of a tax is on the water? I pay property taxes and sales tax to the City of Killeen. Must they also take more without telling me? No wonder the city doesn't have to raise their tax rates. They just tax you without telling you about it.

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