Fort Collins, Colorado, has approved a new waste hauling contract with Republic Services which mandates that 98% of the fuel for compressed natural gas vehicles is RNG as well as a pilot for at least one electric collection vehicle in the community.
The contract comes as Colorado's fourth-largest city moves from a licensed open market for hauling to a contracted system. Fort Collins leaders opted to explore contracts last year, and a study released in January found pricing inconsistencies for different cart sizes and recorded an average price increase for customers of 15% in late 2022 and early 2023.
In addition to its RNG rule, the contract also requires Republic to install an electric vehicle charger and pilot an electric collection vehicle, allowing for additional EVs to be added to Republic’s fleet over the contract term if Republic chooses. Fort Collins had identified through community engagement that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a priority as it explored contract proposals.
The Fort Collins City Council adopted the hauling contract on Feb. 21. Scheduled to begin on Sept. 30, 2024, the contract has a term of five years.
Republic won the contract following a competitive bidding process last year in which WM and Sweetman Sanitation also participated. Evaluation criteria for the proposal put the highest weight on customer pricing, followed by "Commitment to a High-Level of Customer Service," "Strategy(ies) for Enhanced Sustainability and Equity" and ability to meet the contract and service requirements.
The contract will keep costs similar to what they were under a previous agreement.
Hauling costs for households were broken down as follows:
- XS cart service (16 gallons): $11.10
- S cart service (35 gallons): $19.10 — the most commonly selected size
- M cart service (65 gallons): $37.10
- L cart service (95 gallons): $55.10
- XL cart service (two 95 gallons carts): $109.10
Republic has a history in the area, having bought locally-owned hauler Gallegos in 2021, according to the Coloradoan.
The new contract is expected to expand services, adding seasonal weekly yard trimming pickups as well as two annual bulky item collections. The city also elected to increase recycling pickup to weekly service at an added cost of $1.25 per month over biweekly service. Fort Collins estimates increasing recycling service would result in a 9% to 27% lift in materials recycled.
Per the contract, Republic is approved to send solid waste to Larimer County Landfill and North Weld Landfill, recyclable materials to the Larimer County Recycling Center and yard trimmings to A-1 Organics and Ewing Landscape Materials.
The city is planning to send out new carts for the collection service beginning next year. Fort Collins also received a grant from The Recycling Partnership to provide $15 per recyclable materials cart, per the contract.