- J.P. Mascaro & Sons has sued the city of Allentown, PA and Waste Management of Pennsylvania in an attempt to rescind Waste Management's newly awarded five-year city trash collection contract. Mascaro alleges the city violated several laws by an improper bidding process to award the $50 million deal, which takes effect in June. Namely it did not conduct a sealed bid process putting out fixed specifications, where the city awards the least expensive bid, according to the lawsuit as reported in the Morning Call.
- Rather, the city solicited proposals and negotiated details, the company said in the filed suit, which went on to state the city operated illegally by failing to publicly disclose the cost in vendors' proposals.
- Mascaro requested an injunction, rescinding the contract awarded Dec. 9. The company also asked that the city be prohibited from awarding the contract to any firms that participated in the RFP; that Waste Management be prohibited from performing trash collection; and that the city re-issue a request for competitive bids.
Contract disputes among competitors is an ongoing occurrence in the solid waste management industry. Waste Management was actually the company suing not long ago to stop San Francisco from awarding a contract to a competitor. And currently there’s a heated legal debate in Texas over alleged misconduct in awarding a contract there.
The contract in Allentown has been a subject of contention for some time.
"The trash contract in question is a labor and equipment services contract that must be awarded by a fixed, competitive bid process to the lowest responsible bidder, and not by an RFP process applicable to professional services contracts," the lawsuit stated.
But city solicitor Susan Wild countered: "Because of evolving technologies, the city felt that it was important to get proposals from vendors that would include new options that would benefit the City and its residents. If a competitive bid process had been followed, that would not have been possible," she said.
Mascaro's bid would not have been chosen regardless of being the highest of five responses, she said, stating the city was displeased with Mascaro’s previous collections service.