- Waste Pro is set to take over the multi-family collection contract in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 1. The initial three-year contract is estimated to be worth $17.4 million, with the option of three one-year extensions.
- The Florida company will service approximately 127,000 units across 1,000 complexes and 115 public facilities. This will include a variety of containers, compactors and recycling cart stations, as well as scheduled bulk collections.
- According to city council discussion and bid comparisons, Waste Pro's proposal to service the routes entirely with clean fuel vehicles while utilizing a different routing system were key factors in the decision not to stick with current provider Republic Services.
Republic has been servicing Charlotte's multi-unit contract for years and submitted a bid that was 9% less than Waste Pro's price, but ultimately lost out to the city's desire for a new approach. Charlotte received four bids in total for this contract and narrowed it down to the two companies in late 2017. The council voted to approve this new contract in January 2018.
While bid comparisons indicate that the companies were similar in many ways, the differences in routing and fleet stood out. City staff described Republic's routing approach as "unbalanced," with far more collections occurring at the beginning of the week, and noted that about one-third of the company's local fleet didn't meet 2007 EPA emissions standards.
Republic Services was asked for a response to these characterizations and didn't provide one prior to publication.
In contrast, city documentation says that Waste Pro "conducted an extensive, physical observation of current routes, equipment utilized and personnel allocation, leading to a solution that better balances the routes and will result in fewer pieces of equipment on the road negatively impacting the environment." The company will also be using compressed natural gas and "clean diesel" vehicles exclusively.
The fact that Charlotte arranges service for multi-unit buildings through a municipal contract is relatively unique compared to many other cities where larger buildings often have to hire their own providers. In fact, it's common in some cities for multi-unit residential buildings to not have recycling requirements at all or for those requirements to not be enforced if they do exist.
Waste Pro has recently experienced reports of service issues in multiple municipalities around North Carolina and South Carolina. One decided to cancel its contract early in April, while others continue to work with the company. This new contract in one of the country's fastest growing cities may provide a fresh start for the company's local image, while also presenting its fair share of logistical complexities.