- After receiving RFQ responses from eight companies about potentially purchasing its Headquarters Landfill, Cowlitz County, Washington commissioners have voted 2-1 to negotiate an agreement with Republic Services, according to The Daily News.
- "Republic Services is well known for its positive community involvement and its award winning landfill management," Commissioner Arne Mortensen said in a statement to The Daily News. "Add strong economics to that and we have an exciting opportunity."
- The privatization of the landfill is under debate, however, as some citizens and commissioners argue the county should continue running the landfill for the sake of costs and disposal capacity. Public Works Director Mike Moss is drafting a proposal for this argument, expected to be finished this week.
Responses to the RFQ were originally submitted by Waste Management, Republic Services, Waste Connections, Recology, Santek Waste Services, DTG Enterprises, Waste Control Recycling and Green Life Waste Solutions. All responses were reviewed and considered by lawyers, the county's Solid Waste Advisory Committee and a public accounting firm. The site is estimated to have about 100 years of remaining capacity at its current rate of accepting 550,000 tons per year, and is currently profitable for the county.
Republic is familiar with the Washington region, also owning the Roosevelt landfill in Eastern Washington. If Republic were to be successful in negotiating a deal, it would be expected to follow relevant environmental regulations and could be better-equipped to comply with the upcoming state emissions guidelines based on its experiences elsewhere.
As tip fees continue to rise across the country, it is also possible a private operator could raise the fees at Headquarters. The landfill is known for having very low tip fees, making average disposal costs in Cowlitz County some of the lowest in the state. Depending on how a potential agreement is negotiated, increased tip fees could end up being beneficial for the county budget, though public scrutiny can be expected for any final deal.