- Joplin, MO is investigating a bid dispute brought by Republic Services regarding the city’s decision to award a trash collections contract to Waste Corporation of Missouri. The decision came after Republic had provided Joplin service for 10 years, under the name of Allied Waste.
- City Attorney Peter Edwards said he could not legally disclose details tied to the dispute because the protest has been filed and the dispute may result in litigation. But W.T. Eggleston Jr., a vice president of Republic Services, did state that the recycling pricing in the WCA contract was the driving factor that won the bid for WCA, and he argued that participation would be low since the service is prescription based and not mandatory, as reported in the Joplin Globe. Eggleston’s claim is based on a 2014 vote against implementation of mandatory curbside recycling for an additional $3.03 cost to residents.
- Republic's bid for trash service was $11.18 per household. WCA's bid was $11.24. Republic's bid for trash disposal along with the option of recycling is $15.93. WCA’s bid for that was $15.24. Republic's bid for trash pickup and recycling at city buildings and operations was $80,369.16; WCA's bid was $84,815.76.
- Republic argues that the bid scoring system did not reflect the full picture to be considered. According to that company’s documents, the Republic and WCA bids were only .07 apart. Edwards and City Finance director Leslie Haase are conducting an in-depth investigation and Edwards said that he and Haase have met with Republic and an attorney for the company over Republic’s concerns.
Proposals are not always cut and dry and have often spurred disputes. How offerings are bundled and the fine details of proposal language can significantly impact who wins the bid and in some cases fuel debates as appears to have happened in Joplin.
Eggleston wrote to city officials last December that choosing WCA over Republic was a decision seemingly based on prices quoted for trash pickup with voluntary recycling, while Republic came in lowest for trash pickup alone and city service.
"The fact that recycling is subscription-based rather than mandatory and costs $4 a month in the WCA proposal means participation will be extremely low, yet the recycling pricing is the driving factor in awarding WCA the pricing portion of the evaluation," Eggleston wrote.
Further, Republic claims the City Council approved the request’s language with a rating for experience that did not consider each bid’s total score and that the bid forms were changed without council approval which reduced experience to reflect an even lesser total score for Republic.
The city manager responded in correspondence with Republic that if past experience had been considered in the evaluation, it would have "tilted" the results in favor of Republic because pricing was so close.