- Wheelabrator Technologies is trying to figure out why Portsmouth, VA rejected its disposal bid. The company says its calls and emails to the city have gone unanswered.
- The city's purchasing administrator received two bids and rejected both. He provided no further information, even to members of the City Council, and said a city code allowed him to do so.
- The company had planned to dispose of waste at its area waste-to-energy facility which generates steam for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and electricity for the local utility company.
Wheelabrator has been processing the region's waste at its Portsmouth facility since 2010, but recently lost out on a new disposal contract with the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA) to area newcomer RePower. In April, the company decided not to challenge the SPSA's challenge after originally exploring that option. Instead, Wheelabrator had tried to contract with Portsmouth directly.
Portsmouth is now the only SPSA municipality that hasn't signed on to the new deal. Virginia Beach had originally resisted joining the contract due to concerns over whether private haulers would be allowed access to transfer stations. The SPSA has since agreed to that condition.
RePower plans to build a $100 million facility in Chesapeake that will separate recyclables and press the remaining material into fuel pellets for power plants. Though some board members, including one from Virginia Beach, have expressed doubts that the technology will be viable. SPSA recently finalized the 15-year contract, despite Portsmouth's absence, and it's set to begin in January 2018.