Four companies are interested in handling New Hanover County’s solid waste, following a request for proposals aimed at finding a long-term solution to the perennial local issue.
During the commissioners’ Dec. 9 meeting, county manager Chris Coudriet updated the board with the ongoing solicitations for a contractor to take over waste management for the county. The board voted 3-1 to issue the request for proposals at its Nov. 19 meeting, the latest action in the more than five years the county has spent trying to find a long-term solution to dealing with solid waste generated in the county.
Coudriet said a pre-bid conference was held Dec. 4 between county staff and four companies interested in the contract. County public and legislative affairs director Carey Ricks confirmed the four are Waste Management, Waste Industries, Republic Services and Advanced Disposal. At least 20 questions had been posed to the county during the conference, Coudriet said, including a request to extend the deadline for proposals 60 days beyond the original Dec. 31 due date. He said while staff would normally grant a 30-day extension, he wanted to bring the matter before the board for approval because of how involved board members had been with the process.
“They’re trying to give to you the most competitive price that they can give. There are four national companies that have expressed interest and have participated in the mandatory pre-bid,” Coudriet said, adding the responses to the other questions would be submitted on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Previously, the commissioners considered only Waste Industries for the contract, but on Oct. 23 voted to open the contract up to other companies after legal staff advised the commissioners it could be required by other operations covered by the agreement.
The deadline for requests for proposals was extended to Jan. 31 by a discussion-based consensus. Commissioner Brian Berger did not attend the meeting.