To Recycle or Not to Recycle, That is the Question
Monday, October 15, 2012
For the last several years Waste Management has provided Spring Hill’s solid waste collection services. This month the Board of Mayor and Alderman are considering renewal of that contract via Resolution 12-75 (A Resolution to Accept Proposal for Solid Waste Collection Services). Of the five responses to the City’s RFP only three offer a recycling alternative. Of the two of those that offer the best pricing, only one continues to provide collection services in the manner citizens are used to, namely the feet on the ground method of picking up the trash, as opposed to the automated method that limits the pickup to one bin.
Fortunately that respondent (Waste Management) is also the least expensive on average across residential and commercial pickup. Subsequently the choice of vendor is rather obvious. The question that remains is whether or not to choose the recycling alternative. While there appears to be overwhelming support for non-sorted (single stream) curbside pickup of recyclables, to get the $3.67/month pricing, it will not be optional for the individual household.
Waste Management has sent a letter to the City (below) that does a very good job summarizing their proposal. I hope you find their letter informative. As always feel free to contact me by phone or email on this or any other issue facing the City.
Spring Hill BOMA – I want to thank each of you for the time spent this past Monday discussing the proposals that were submitted for solid waste collection and possibly the addition of residential recycling collection. I would like to make a few brief comments in advance of this Monday’s meeting which I hope will assist you in this evaluation.
I think Spring Hill has a wonderful opportunity to add a City provided service that is truly needed and highly requested by your residents. There are many citizens in Spring Hill who pay $13 a month on a subscription basis just for the ability to recycle items at the curb. This new service in your City would be utilized by at least 75-80% of your residents to the highest degree. Providing a cart, a rewards program, and an acceptable level of collection is the key to success and similar municipalities such as Oak Ridge have seen this high participation for years now. The fact they are diverting almost 50% of their residential waste stream not only is a great commitment to the environment, it positions them better in future RFP scenarios as less waste per home is generated.
Our program is designed to be Citywide. It is this factor that has driven the low cost. We gain the efficiency of knowing what our routing will be and what assets are needed. In addition, the Rewards program and all the marketing costs associated with that are based on the whole population, which drives the lowest cost available.
The RecycleBank Rewards program is a tremendous feature to this program that not all Cities are granted. You truly have the ability to give a resident the ability to ‘gain’ in a monetary sense. Beyond that, the program has a great feature in which residents can ‘donate’ their points to Schools in Spring Hill for grants that RecycleBank provides on an annual basis. These grants are real, up to $2500, and come about simply from the school applying to RecycleBank with a certain project they will undertake in a certain year. What could be better than this?
WM has submitted the very best proposal we could to Spring Hill to accomplish many goals. We cut our commercial rates substantially to assist your businesses. We reduced our residential trash price for the second bid in a row. We have designed a Recycling program, which not only helps the City help the environment and immediately places you as a Sustainable City, but gave a method to cover this cost and increase awareness at the same time.
Please let me know if there is anything else you would need in considering this decision. It is an important time in the development of Spring Hill and we hope to assist in the effort. As always, it is a pleasure providing services to Spring Hill Tennessee.
Barry K. Marshall
TN Municipal Marketing Representative
9504 Diggs Gap Road
Heiskell TN 37754