RIVERVIEW — The city continued with the process of bringing curbside recycling to its residents after approving a five-year agreement that will cost $175,344 annually.
Stevens Disposal & Recycling Services Inc. — the city’s current waste contractor — will provide the residential curbside service bi-weekly.
The council unanimously awarded the bid at the April 4 meeting, contingent upon approval of the contact from City Attorney Randy Pentiuk.
The request for bids was posted in early March with 18 vendors receiving notice. Stevens Disposal was the only company to respond, and its bid was opened March 17. Initially, the bid was for was an annual cost of $210,412.80 because the cost of renting recycling carts was included.
In accordance with the purchasing manual, City Manager Douglas Drysdale authorized the purchasing agent to inquire what the annual costs would be with the city purchasing carts instead of renting from the vendor. The revised cost without cart rental is $175,344 annually.
Riverview intends to purchase the carts and seek reimbursement through various recycling grants, including Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and The Recycling Partnership.
Discussions already have been held with those groups about grants for cart purchase.
The City Council authorized the request for proposals for residential curbside recycling services, with options for city-wide and subscription-based services in January.
Councilman Chuck Norton had several questions before voting to approve the agreement, including his concern for how many residents are going to use the recycling service.
“I’m just concerned because of the price after five years, that’s $876,720,” he said. “We really don’t know how many of the residents are going to take advantage of this at this price.”
Drysdale said the cost is part of the waste collection millage, so it’s not going to be exactly the same for everyone.
Norton also asked about a second recycling location, which the city still intends on providing in addition to the site at the landfill.
When asked if the current recycling area at the landfill gets a lot of usage, Drysdale said it did, and that the city gets complaints about it being full all the time now.
Mayor Andrew Swift said businesses and multiple-unit dwellings will still have the recycling area to use for recycling since they are not participating in the residential curbside program.
“A much bigger picture here is that this is a major tick mark of what the Wayne County Facilities Inclusion Committee was looking for, for the expansion of our landfill,” Swift said. “They required a recycling program. I know at one point we looked at curbside by subscription. I don’t know if we even got enough feedback to what the participation rate would be.”
Prior to approving, Norton made his own motion to postpone the vote on the agreement until the next council meeting to allow everyone time to do more research, and give Pentiuk the opportunity to look over the contract.
That motion failed on a 3-4 vote against with Swift, Councilmembers Dean Workman, Lynn Blanchette and Rita Gunaga voting no. Councilmembers Norton, Sussie O’Neil and David Robbins voted in favor.
Swift said that would make the timeline to apply for the grants tighter on the city if the agreement vote was moved.
“I was never a big supporter of making people pay for something they don’t use, but I think overall that we’ll get much better participation in recycling if the can is at our house as opposed to bringing it to the recycling center,” Swift said.
Workman asked if Pentiuk looked over the contract and the options of backing out. Drysdale said that there is usually a standard clause of notice in agreements.
Pentiuk said he was not presented the documentation but could negotiate the request into the agreement which the vendor would have to agree to.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])