On June 5, Commissioners formally approved a five-year contract for Waste Pro to collect waste and recycling in unincorporated areas of Buncombe County. The offer comes after extensive work collecting feedback via a survey and requesting bids from potential waste collection service providers. Ultimately, two companies submitted bids with Waste Pro being the only responsive bidder.
The County created an Evaluation Committee that reviewed survey results, conducted interviews, checked references, and used other metrics to provide recommendations on how to move forward with a contract. The committee was also intentional about addressing issues discerned from survey results and other feedback platforms. Key concerns identified include:
- Customer service
- Proposed operations
- Lessons learned
- Service verification
As such, the contract pivots from the existing contract on multiple levels and now includes a schedule of penalty fees aimed at ensuring consistent, quality service. “This contract is totally different than the one we had before. There’s teeth in it,” notes Commissioner Joe Belcher. “It’s a subscriber-based service, so if [residents] don’t want it, they don’t have to keep it.”
The contract will also have Waste Pro provide bins for waste and recycling, a move that looks to encourage more recycling while reining in loose trash bags that can unintentionally encourage temporary dumping sites. It would also have Waste Pro add GPS and camera technology to its trucks adding more accountability by creating a daily record of routes each truck has completed. Waste Pro will also upgrade some of its fleet to clean natural gas and diesel vehicles.
Commission Chair Brownie Newman notes the upgrades and performance-based contract will benefit the community, “A lot of things are markedly better in this contract. I think the recycling rates are going to increase due to carts because it’s so much more convenient.”
You can view the contract changes, penalty fee schedule, and more here. You can read the contract here.