Solid Waste Collection Contract Updates

In February 2018, the Newcastle City Council directed staff to negotiate a new solid waste collection contract with Waste Management. The move comes as the city’s 10-year contract with the hauler is set to expire in mid-2019.

This webpage will offer updates and resources through the process, when available.

UPDATES

April 17: Contract negotiations are under way with Waste Management. An initial meeting was held on April 3 to discuss contract terms. With the exception of the annual rate escalator and minor insurance provisions, we are in agreement with all other aspects of the contract. A meeting to discuss rates is scheduled for April 27. Waste Management has expressed total confidence that they will be able to meet our final deadline of May 31 to have a completed contract proposal for City Council review. (As seen in the April 17, 2018, City Manager's Report)

BACKGROUND

In an effort to bring faster rate relief to customers, the Newcastle City Council directed staff to negotiate a new solid waste collection contract with Waste Management at the Feb. 20 meeting. The move comes as the city’s 10-year contract with the hauler is set to expire in mid-2019.

Negotiations with Waste Management will begin immediately, with an eye toward implementing new rates and enhanced services by the end of the year, several months earlier than if the city elected to go with a new hauler. Newcastle’s current rates were established by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee, rather than being directly negotiated or competitively bid. Moving away from this structure under a new contract will likely result in lower rates for customers.

Over the next few months, city staff will negotiate new contract language and collection rates with Waste Management. Staff members also plan to discuss a variety of service enhancements, including Waste Management-provided kitchen food scrap containers for residents, recycling and yard waste collection frequency, an expanded curbside recyclables list and embedded yard waste and recycling services for all single-family customers. View the staff PowerPoint presentation here for more information on planned service enhancements and alternatives.

Directing renegotiation was one of two viable options the council considered. The other avenue, procuring a new contract through a request for proposals, would offer more uncertainty, delayed rate relief and significant staff time. Councilmembers noted the city could still turn to this alternative, should the need arise during negotiations with Waste Management.

MORE INFORMATION

- City Council Meeting Roundups with information about the solid waste collection contract process: Jan. 16, Feb. 6Feb. 20

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