As Killeen makes its move from voluntary curbside to mandatory single-stream recycling, it has four companies vying for its business.
The city sent out requests for proposals Sept. 1, seeking responses from “qualified firms to provide processing and marketing of recyclable materials collected via the city’s proposed single-stream curb side recycling program,” the request stated.
Single-stream recycling will be citywide and allow residents to put all their recyclable materials in one can, rather than separating them like the current voluntary curb-sorted program requires.
The new program would also increase the number of materials accepted; however, glass will no longer be an accepted material. The current curb-sorted program accepts mixed paper, No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, aluminum and tin cans and glass bottles and jars.
The single-stream program will include mixed paper, plastics No. 1 through No. 7, aseptic containers, steel and aluminum, and tin cans.
Capital outlay for rolling out single-stream recycling is estimated to be about $4.8 million — $2.2 million for trucks and $2.8 million for cart assembly and distribution. Annual recurring cost is estimated to be about $675,699 — $332,739 in personnel costs and $342,956 in operating costs.
The proposals received by the city were evaluated and scored on a weighted scale: experience and quality was weighted at 15 percent of the total score, fiscal impact at 20 percent, location at 20 percent, long-term facility and public education were each weighted at 10 percent. Plan and timeline, financial capability, quality of reports, completeness and response to the city’s proposal were weighted at 5 percent each.
Scott Osburn, the city’s public works director, said a committee of seven city staffers “who have experience in this industry” evaluated and ranked the proposals.
Residents who currently use the city’s curb-sorted program have $2.48 added to their garbage bill per recycling container. Residents’ garbage bills are currently based on what size can they have.
Residents with a 96-gallon can pay $17.50 per month, 64-gallon cans are $15.60 per month and 32-gallon cans are $14.38 per month.
The city is proposing going to a single-can system as it rolls out single-stream recycling and all residents getting a 96-gallon recycling cart and a 96-gallon trash cart for a monthly base fee of $20.89.
City officials are still evaluating that plan and will bring it before the council in a future workshop meeting for discussion.
It’s unclear when the city plans to bring its new plan online.
The council first has to choose which company to go with and complete a rate study and master plan before moving forward. The rate study and master plan is estimated to cost about $130,000 to complete.
Austin-based Balcones Resources was ranked No. 1 by the committee with 82.86 percent; WILCO, located just outside of Austin, came in at No. 2 with 69.86 percent; Killeen-based Centex Metals was No. 3 with 66.64 percent and Austin-based Texas Disposal Systems was No. 4 with 63.47 percent.
Balcones is offering the city $5 per ton of recyclable materials in its proposal, WILCO offered to pay $10 per ton, Centex $60 per ton and Texas Disposal Systems $1.99 to $4.99 depending on amount recycled. Balcones, Centex and WILCO all have a contamination rate for charge-back of greater than 10 percent. Texas Disposal Systems’ rate is greater than 12.5 percent and the city would receive no revenue if more than 20 percent of the recyclables are contaminated.
Michael Cleghorn, Killeen’s director of solid waste, said charge-back fees are fees the company will charge the city if materials to be recycled exceed a certain percent of contamination.
Balcones and Texas Disposal Systems’ charge-back fees are listed at the total sale of materials minus 50 percent, Centex Metals charges $50 per ton and WILCO charges $43.75 per ton.
Another aspect of the proposals are transportation fees and the leasing of the city’s transfer station.
Balcones is willing to negotiate a cost for leasing the transfer station and doesn’t charge for the transportation of recyclables.
Centex also doesn’t charge for transportation and agreed to lease the transfer station for $1,125 per month.
Both Texas Disposal Systems and WILCO charge $300 per load to transfer recyclables and weren’t interested in leasing the transfer station.
If 7,200 tons were recycled annually with less than 10 percent contamination, a contract with Balcones would line the city’s pockets with an estimated $122,400 in annual revenue.
Centex Metals is projected to bring in $805,500 with the leasing of the transfer station figured in, Texas Disposal Systems $35,228 and WILCO $72,000.