Leon County Commissioners voted to issue an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for a new waste collection vendor contract at its Sept. 24, 2019 meeting rather than extend the current Waste Pro contract.
Waste Pro serves about 27,200 residents of unincorporated Leon County. The seven-year contract with Waste Pro expires in September, 2020.
Waste Pro’s contract allows for a three-year extension, but based on repeated customer complaints and poor performance, staff recommended moving forward with an ITB. Waste Pro will still be permitted to submit a bid.
“The nature of servicing over 27,000 accounts will inevitably result in some customer complaints regardless of the vendor performing the service,” as stated in the meeting agenda. “However, throughout the initial term of the Agreement, the current Contractor’s performance has frequently not met expectations.”
The County addressed customer complaints by levying liquidated damages.
“For 2018, $104,525 in liquidated damages were levied and for 2019 (to date) over $175,000 have been levied,” staff reports.
To ensure better customer service, the Board created a full-time Contract Compliance position at its April 15, 2017 Budget Workshop. The position is funded by liquidated damages with the responsibility of resolving Waste Pro customer service issues.
The County also plans to improve customer experience by raising service standards for the new vendor.
The proposed ITB attempts to “provide the greatest level of service while minimizing the cost to residential subscription customers,” staff reports.
Changes to the current service standards include setting a clear pickup time-frame for large items, introducing incentives for businesses to recycle, and following disaster preparedness procedures, according to the agenda.
Most services will not change. The future contractor must still collect waste and recycling once weekly, provide single-stream recycling, debag debris at pickup, offer free collection at designated County locations, and use Compressed Natural Gas vehicles.
The contractor must also continue using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which which allows for more precise tracking of opportunities to increase recycling efforts, determines if pick-ups were missed, location of missing/stolen carts, and the overall ability for the County to monitor/assess services being provided.
The new contract will take effect Oct. 1, 2020.