Waste Management sues San Francisco to stop Recology contract
- Waste Management of Alameda County Inc. is suing in California Superior Court to stop San Francisco from giving a $130 million waste disposal contract to San Francisco-based Recology Inc.
- WMAC argues that the city's Board of Supervisors must approve contracts with terms of 10 years or more. Further, it says the 2009 contract was consistently characterized as a 10-year deal until this month, when the Department of Energy altered the term to less than 10 years.
- The lawsuit wants the city to be compelled to negotiate a contract with WMAC or open the bidding process. The current contract with WMAC is set to expire in early 2016.
Eric Potashner, Recology's vice president of strategic affairs, told Waste 360: "We bid around $30 a ton, Waste Management bid $65. Largely based on that, the city chose us. Every step of this process Waste Management has tried to litigate themselves back into the bidding process. We stand by our numbers and we stand by the city’s process."
San Francisco had similar, controversial contract issues in the past. In 2012, 77% of voters rejected a proposal to open up waste and recycling collection to competitive bidding. In 2013, the Yuba Group Against Garbage claimed that the city, by failing to conduct an environmental review, violated procedures defined by the California Environmental Quality Act.
California Superior Court could clarify the procedure for awarding contracts to avoid future controversy.