- The Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, approved a $6 million waste collection contract with Platform Waste Solutions on Tuesday, as first reported by The Tennesseean. The division of Platform Capital is acquiring Red River Waste Solutions, which struggled to service Nashville for months after it filed for bankruptcy.
- The contract, which runs through November 2024, covers an estimated 55,670 accounts across 75 routes per week. It includes updated language about contract termination procedures and performance standards, in light of challenges with Red River that led Nashville to pause curbside recycling over the winter.
- The council also approved a $7.5 million contract with Waste Pro, which covers an estimated 13,197 accounts across 20 routes per week. This contract will run through June 2027.
The Nashville contract was a big development for Red River when it was awarded back in 2004, and the company made multiple acquisitions in the region to build on that position. At its height, Texas-based Red River had operations across six states with multiple municipal contracts. According to its October bankruptcy filings, Red River experienced significant financial setbacks from the pandemic, and service levels saw a resulting decline.
Under the prior contract, Red River was responsible for 125 waste collection routes, including single-family homes and certain multifamily buildings. According to prior testimony from John Honeysucker, assistant director of waste services for Metro Nashville, “Red River has not had in service the required number of collection vehicles on even one day since Thanksgiving,” leading crews to often work late into the evening and resulting in thousands of missed-pickup complaints. In December, Metro paused curbside recycling collection — which is handled by public-sector employees — to direct resources toward catching up on waste collection. This continued through January.
In February, Nashville brought in WM and Waste Pro via emergency contracts to help Red River catch up. Prior to this week’s votes, Metro had also awarded a $7.5 million contract to WM in May. That arrangement, which runs into May 2027, covers an estimated 14,102 accounts across 20 routes per week.
Following its own service issues, Fort Wayne, Indiana, walked away from Red River entirely and selected GFL Environmental for a new contract that began this month. According to recent court filings, Red River still has active municipal contracts in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. Its sale to Platform, a Colorado-based private equity firm, is expected to close soon.