The Woodlands Township to keep Waste Management as solid waste contractors

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After discussing bids from three vendors, The Woodlands Township board of directors voted to award a bid to Waste Management and renew its contract for trash and recycling services in 2020 despite a lower bid coming from an out-of-state company.

The motion to renew the contract came with an amendment suggested by board of directors Chairperson Gordy Bunch to authorize staff to negotiate further with the vendor, whose bid—which works out to $14.51 per month per household—had come in at $14.15 per month when the item was previously discussed six months ago.

The price from Waste Management under the contract currently in place is $10.78 per month per residential household, and the budgeted amount for contracted waste collection services in 2019 is $5.16 million, according to information on the May 22 meeting agenda.

The services provided by Waste Management were the “Cadillac system” of solid waste services, said Lynn Lantrip of Solid Waste Specialists, the consulting company engaged by the township to negotiate the contract. In addition to providing weekly trash and recycling pickup, The Woodlands Township residents receive weekly services picking up unlimited amounts of brush for composting, bulky items and a monthly bulk cardboard pickup.

The unlimited volume pickup is “most unusual,” Lantrip said, adding he was only aware of one other such program in the state.

“It keeps the place very clean,” he said.

The current contract with Waste Management expires Feb. 1, 2020, with the option to renew, but contract negotiations did not produce the desired results, he said.

Out of three companies that bid for the contract, Waste Management’s came in second, with Tennessee-based San Tek offering a lower price of $12.89 per household. However, Lantrip said, that service would use only 12 trucks instead of the current 14 to make the weekly rounds, which would produce an unacceptably long workday. Changes to the contract to bring it up to 14 trucks would likely result in a higher price, he said.

The decision to stay with Waste Management was amended by Bunch’s remark that the township should continue to negotiate to achieve the price per household it had initially discussed with the company.

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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