Beaufort County awards $858K solid-waste contract

cconley@islandpacket.comJuly 17, 2012 

Republic Services has won a three-year contract to remove trash and other non-recyclable material from Beaufort County's convenience centers.

The contract takes effect Aug. 1 and is worth about $858,000 per year, according to Art Smith, municipal director with Republic's Beaufort branch.

Waste Pro Inc. currently holds the waste-hauling contract, which entails picking up trash receptacles at the 12 convenience centers and taking them to the landfill. That company, which won the contract in 2011 at $682,025 a year, gave the 60 days' notice required to opt out of the agreement in May, according to county documents.

A spokesman for Waste Pro, which is based in Longwood, Fla., did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday.

Most users won't notice the change, but trash receptacles could be temporarily out of service between July 26 and Aug. 1, while new equipment is installed. That process shouldn't take more than an hour, said Jim Minor, county solid waste manager.

"The two companies are working together to coordinate the removal and replacement of the containers," he said. "We just want to let the public know ahead of time that there will be the possibility of some interruption and delays."

Waste Pro notified the county two months ago that it wanted to renegotiate a higher rate, county attorney Josh Gruber said. County policy does not allow on-going contracts to be renegotiated, he explained, because it isn't fair to other bidders.

Republic and Waste Management, which lost the contract to Waste Pro in 2011, resubmitted proposals this spring. Republic, which is based in Phoenix, was the low bidder.

Waste Pro bid $879,802 a year, and Waste Management, $998,218.

The hauling contract is based on the number of times the trash receptacles are "pulled" from the convenience centers. The contract allows Republic to bill the county $111 each time a trash receptacle is picked up and hauled away, Smith said.

Smith predicted the company would hire new drivers and buy new equipment to fulfill the contract.

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