YORK COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY GUIDE TO BEST PRACTICES FOR WASTE AND RECYCLING CONTRACT BIDS AND SERVICE OPTIONS

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this guide is to provide best practice suggestions to York County municipalities for creating competitive residential waste and recycling service bid packages.  In addition, it provides guidance for waste and recycling service options for municipal contracts that may be most cost effective for municipalities and residents and produce optimum recycling tonnages.

HISTORY

This guide was produced in collaboration with York County waste and recycling hauling companies and originally presented at the January 7, 2021 York County Recycling Coordinator Meeting hosted by the York County Solid Waste Authority (YCSWA)

YORK COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY GUIDE TO BEST PRACTICES FOR WASTE AND RECYCLING CONTRACT BIDS AND SERVICE OPTIONS

BID REQUESTS AND CONTRACTS

REQUEST CONTRACT TERM LENGTH OF AT LEAST 3 YEARS-Longer contract terms allow more financial stability for hauling companies and demonstrate commitment on the part of the municipality. Ideally, contract term requests will also include an additional two years of possible extensions.

ALLOW HAULERS TO QUOTE ANNUAL PRICING FOR EACH CONTRACT YEAR-Permitting annual pricing throughout the contract allows the hauler to increase pricing incrementally and avoids large price increases at the beginning of a new contract.

PERMIT HAULERS TO PASS ALONG UNEXPECTED COSTS-Escalator clauses allow haulers to increase pricing in the midst of a contract if waste disposal costs suddenly increase. This also helps to avoid large price increases at the beginning of a new contract.

ALLOW HAULERS TO ITEMIZE RECYCLING AND WASTE SERVICE COSTS WITHIN THE QUOTE- Haulers may like the option to show specific costs for different services within the quote.  This can also help municipalities understand and track exactly where service costs are changing over time.

MAKE SURE ALL FORMS IN YOUR BID PACKET ARE UP TO DATE-Sending a bid packet with outdated affidavits or other legal forms can substantially delay the bid process and, in some cases, cause a hauling company to miss your bid deadline while they wait for forms to be updated.       

RECYCLING AND WASTE SERVICE OPTIONS

LIMIT RESIDENTIAL SERVICE OPTIONS-Limiting residential waste and recycling service options will allow for a hauler to bid more competitively because there are not as many options to price, bill and keep track of on their routes. This can also make choosing a service option simpler for your residents.

REQUEST ONLY ONE RECYCLING AND WASTE COLLECTION PER WEEK-Contracting for multiple recycling and/or waste collections per week significantly increases your contract price from haulers who must designate more resources for your community.

LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF WASTE YOUR RESIDENTS CAN DISPOSE OF PER WEEK-Limiting the amount of waste your residents can dispose of to 3-4 bags or one 96-gallon carting tote per week, gives your hauler a specific waste volume on which to base pricing instead of trying to project how much waste to expect. This approach also encourages residents to separate recycling from waste, thereby increasing your municipality’s recycling tonnages.

USE A STANDARD SIZE BAG FOR LOW VOLUME AND EXTRA BAG SERVICES-Asking your residents to use a standard volume bag size that can be purchased easily at retail locations, instead of specific bags that must be purchased from the hauler or municipality, makes low volume waste and extra bag collection services easier for the hauler, municipality and resident. This practice can also cut costs from your contract since haulers do not have to plan and pay for providing bags.

UTILIZE WASTE CARTING TOTES TO ALLOW FOR AUTOMATED COLLECTION OPTIONS-Requiring your residents to use 96-gallon waste carting totes will, in some cases, allow haulers to use automated collection options instead of manpower. This collection process can be more cost-effective for haulers who may pass along this savings in the municipal contract.

ALLOW YOUR HAULER TO DETERMINE SERVICING ROUTES AND SCHEDULES-Permitting your hauler to determine what day(s) of the week they will collect materials from your municipality may lower your contract pricing. When a hauler can employ logistics that make the best use of staff and vehicles, they can avoid having to hire and purchase more resources.

REQUIRE WASTE AND RECYCLING COLLECTIONS VIA ORDINANCE-Allowing residents to burn waste and recyclables not only hurts the environment, but it can affect municipal contract pricing. The more program participants you can guarantee for your hauler, the better your price per household may be.