The City of Palm Bay’s current franchise agreement Waste Management Inc. of Florida (Harris Sanitation, Inc.) for citywide residential and solid waste services was negotiated and adopted in 2010 and is due to expire on September 30, 2020. Waste Management (WM) has provided solid waste services for the City for approximately thirty years.
At the February 7, 2019 Regular Council Meeting, City Council decided not to renegotiate or renew the current contract with Waste Management and directed staff to conduct a competitive procurement process. Additionally, on May 14, 2019 Waste Management provided a letter formally providing notice to the City of non-renewal of the contract.Waste Management Notice Of Non-Renewal
In mid-November 2019 through the end of December 2019, the City promoted an online survey via the City website and various social media platforms, to engage the community regarding the solid waste service. Information on the press release for the survey is available below.
City of Palm Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services Survey
Post Date: 11/19/2019 9:56 AM
Approximately 1,260 responses were received. Relevant to the frequency of residential pickup and the cost component, one of the survey questions and responses are provided below:
Question 4: Residential Service currently includes garbage pickup once per week. Please provide your preference for frequency of pickup.
43.05% - It should stay the same.
47.02% - Increase to twice a week.
9.93% - No preference.
The City of Palm Bay developed a Request for Proposals (RFP) document to provide citywide collection and hauling services for single-family and multi-dwelling residential solid waste, recyclables, yard waste, bulky waste, white goods, electronic waste and tires; and, for commercial solid waste collected in individual containers, front-load containers/bins, and compactors. This complex service agreement had not been solicited through a formal, competitive bid process in the City’s history. City staff spent months researching other RFP’s to find best practices to alleviate the service issues reported with the current contract.
In November 2019, the RFP was issued to request proposals from collectors for award of a new franchise agreement. The City requested pricing on both a base proposal and an alternate proposal. The base proposal was twice weekly automated curbside residential garbage collection, and the alternate proposal was once weekly automated curbside residential garbage collection. For both proposals, recycling and yard waste pickup would be once weekly.
Procurement took proactive steps to encourage collector participation in the City’s RFP. Staff recognized the competitive challenge of a limited marketplace of solid waste vendors, combined with competitively soliciting solid waste services for the first time, and that the City’s incumbent vendor has a long-standing contract with the City and with most agencies in Brevard County. Procurement identified seven collectors operating in Florida and did added outreach to encourage their participation. In addition, the solicitation was posted on the City’s website and nationally on two different solicitation posting services; 121 vendors were reached from DemandStar alone. A total of fifteen vendors downloaded the documents, and of those, six collectors downloaded the RFP documents, including four that the City originally identified. Of those four, only one did not respond, and provided several reasons, including competitive pricing and recycling processing.
In all, four total responses were received in response to the City’s solicitation: Three proposals were received, and one statement of no proposal was received from Waste Management. The Procurement department did an analysis of the number of proposal responses other agencies received in the last year. The agencies were a mix of counties and municipalities in Florida, ranging in population size from City of Atlantis (2,133) to Brevard County (535,641). The average number of responses was 3.63; only one agency received more than four responses, including “no proposal” statements. Considering the above-mentioned challenges, the Procurement department is satisfied with the level of competition in response to the RFP.
During the proposal process, the City received a statement of no proposal from Waste Management. In the legislative memorandum for the Special Council Meeting held on April 22, 2020, City staff provided responses to the statement for information purposes. That information is provided starting at the bottom of page 2 of the Legislative Memo from April 22, 2020 SCM.
The City received proposals from the following companies: Great Waste and Recycling Services, LLC, Republic Services of Florida, and Waste Pro of Florida, Inc. Procurement staff reviewed the proposals for responsiveness and provided all three proposals to the evaluation team. A five-member evaluation team evaluated the. The evaluation team met multiple times in a publicly noticed, open meeting and provided an opportunity for public comment. In accordance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law, s. 286.011 F.S. (commonly called the Sunshine Law), the Team was not permitted to have any discussions about the submittals outside of the publicly noticed and recorded meeting.
The team discussed and scored written responses on non-price factors only, including summary of qualifications, project approach and methodology, and transition plan. Points for proposed cost were determined by the Procurement Department based on the formula published in the RFP.
Subsequently, the evaluation team requested all three proposers provide both written clarifications and oral presentations which included a question and answer session. The evaluation committee scored the collectors on written response to non-price factors and the oral presentations. Those points were combined with the points for proposed cost to create a final score and ranking. The evaluation team unanimously recommended the top ranked collector for both the base and alternate scenarios, Republic Services of Florida, out of Vero Beach, Florida, as the firm to present to Council for permission to negotiate.
Throughout the process, Republic Services of Florida (Republic) was the highest ranked firm in every phase – initial written proposal, written clarifications, and oral discussions. Components of Republic’s service offerings include:
- Unlimited residential bulky waste and yard waste.
- Ability to take over residential billing and cart program, with the City retaining ownership of carts. (Note that in the final agreement, City is retaining billing)
- Select My Cart program allowing residents to choose from three cart sizes.
- Three U.S.-based customer service centers located in separate time zones to provide extended customer service hours (15 hours weekdays; 4 hours on Saturdays).
- Electronic customer service options include both a website request center as well as a smartphone app for service requests.
They also presented a detailed transition plan providing for new fleet and back-up fleet alternatives and new customer service personnel and training approaches to maintain high levels of service with a realistic timeline of objectives and deliverables.
One month before the Agenda for the Solid Waste Permission to Negotiate was considered at a public meeting, the City released the following press release and simultaneously posted all documents on the City’s website for public review. www.pbfl.org/SolidWasteRFP.
City of Palm Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Collection RFP Results
Post Date:03/20/2020 2:36 PM
At the April 22, 2020 Council meeting, Staff presented the results of the Procurement process as described above; a summary of the scoring from all team members; a tabulation of proposed rates from all three proposers; the results of the survey from late 2019; and a comparison of rates for once-a-week and twice-a-week services from a dozen neighboring and like size agencies. Council directed Staff to negotiate for twice-a-week solid waste pickup, and once-a-week recycling and yard waste pickup with the highest ranked firm, Republic Services.
In May 2020, City staff held a series of negotiation meetings with Republic. The primary goal of the negotiation team was to reduce the residential rate for twice-a-week pickup. Based on discussions, staff recommended twice weekly residential services to include the City retaining billing functions while the contractor takes on responsibility for cart management. The City did an analysis of the cost of keeping the cart program in-house and the cost of keeping the billing in-house vs. the rate to outsource and determined that it was more advantageous to our residents to retain billing in-house and present a lower rate.
Residential customers currently receive solid waste pickup once per week at a rate of $12.30 per month.
The current rates, along with the initially proposed rates and the rates following negotiation are provided below. Residential rates based on the original proposal for this type of service were $27.75 per month, an increase of $15.45/month or 126%. Based on the negotiated rate, residential customers will pay $23.50 per month, an increase of $11.20/month or 91% more than current rates. The rate dropped 15% based on negotiations. Additionally, future rate increases will be 3% each year. The term of the agreement is for 10 years with two, 2-year renewals for a maximum term of 14 years.
Commercial customer rates in the original proposal were increasing by 30%. In order to distribute the proposed increase and meet the objective of lowering the residential rate, based on the negotiated rates, the commercial rates are 54% higher than the current rates. Overall the combined commercial and residential rates increased by 19% following negotiations. A summary of these rates, along with all rate types provided are included in the May 28, 2020 Legislative Memo (attachments 1 and 2).
At the May 28, 2020 Council meeting, Staff presented the results of the negotiations with Republic, including the City retaining billing, for consideration of final award. By a vote of 4-1 City Council approved the new contract. A press release was issued the next day, see below.
City of Palm Bay Awards Twice Weekly Solid Waste and Recycling Services Contract
Post Date: 05/29/2020 3:35 PM
On June 1, 2020, the approved contract was signed by the Palm Bay City Manager.
Key Highlights of New Contract with Republic
The increased cost of the new solid waste and recycling contract will provide many service improvements to Palm Bay residents. Beginning October 1, 2020, Republic Services of Florida will provide residential customers with twice-a-week garbage collection and once weekly recycling collection.
Unlimited bulk and yard waste pickup for residential customers: The current contract with Waste Management has a bulky waste limit of three cubic yards. The negotiated agreement has unlimited bulk waste and yard waste pickup at the curb within three operating days of identification to Republic, which can be reported by the driver (no action required by the resident) or can be requested by the resident to Republic via their local number, toll-free number, website, or mobile app.
Cart Changes: The contract will include a one-time, no-cost cart size change out for all current customers; this is an increase from the 20,000 originally included in the proposal. Customers will have the option to change an existing 64-gallon cart to either a smaller 35-gallon cart or a larger 96-gallon cart. Customers can also make no change and continue to use the 64-gallon cart. Customers will have the opportunity to make these cart changes in late 2020, followed by a planned cart switch in early 2021.
Additionally, there are over 5,000 extra carts that residential customers pay 50 cents per month to have serviced. With the change to twice weekly pickup, Republic will offer these customers a one-time, no-cost swap out to 96-gallon carts, providing 192 gallons of solid waste cart service per week and 96 gallons of recycling service per week. This swap out will occur at the startup of the contract. If the customer continues to desire service of an extra cart, the monthly service rate per extra cart will be $9.79 (decrease from the original proposal rate of $19.08).
The City will still own all carts at the end of the contract, including new carts purchased by Republic to replace lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed carts. Republic will repair or replace any cart that is damaged, including existing carts, due to ordinary wear and tear for the life of the contract.
Customer Education and Community Outreach for Transition: The proposed contract requires Republic to provide multi-faceted media and communications plans featuring City approved mailers, community events, Internet updates, media outreach, and phone calls to provide information about new services to customers. Republic will also provide educational and outreach materials to all City residents including service days, proper recycling methods, and a local phone number for Republic’s customer service center, and access to a team of transition experts to assist residents and answer questions about carts, transition, process requests for a different cart size, etc. The negotiated contract includes an Exhibit to provide clear parameters for appropriate set-out instructions and collection of various types of residential waste.
Improved Process for Services Issues and Concerns: Although the City is retaining distribution and collection of billing, customer service issues will be handled by Republic. Calls received by the City that are not related to billing can be automatically directed to the Republic customer service centers, providing 15 hours of customer service availability on weekdays and 4 hours on Saturdays. In addition to phone service, customers will also be able to get service information from Republic via their website and using their mobile app. Customer service and contact will be enhanced and increased. Republic uses the “Call ‘em all” program to advise customers of service changes or impacts (for example, holiday schedules).
For issues with contaminated piles, Republic will institute a marking flag program for enhanced visibility rather than the use of paper tags that blow away or are often not noticed by customers. The negotiated agreement contains a detailed process for resolving complaints, and a fine system the City can impose against the vendor for issues like missed pickups.
Reporting and Meetings: Significant expansion of required reporting per the proposed contract will provide the City with timely and useful information regarding multiple aspects of the contractually required services including items such as tonnage, routes, complaints, and contaminated recycling. Additionally, the negotiated agreement requires Republic to meet with City staff quarterly and appear before City Council at least annually.
Back Door Service: Republic Services will continue to provide back door service service for elderly or disabled customers based on request.
Residential Minor Construction and Demolition Debris and Wood: Clarification has been added to the negotiated contract to include residential pickup of containerized construction and demolition debris resulting from a customer’s minor home improvement projects. However, because City trash will be taken to the Brevard County Sarno Transfer Station, it has been clarified that treated wood is excluded from pickup, as it is categorized as prohibited waste by the Brevard County Sarno Transfer Station.
Holiday Schedule: The holiday schedule is simplified and requires no additional action by residents (as opposed to early set out, like in the current agreement with Waste Management). There are only five recognized holidays under the contract: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. In the event a holiday occurs on a residential customer’s regular collection day, the customer will receive service on the next regular collection day.
The twice weekly pickup schedule is either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. For example, a Monday holiday results in the next pickup on Thursday, which means that even during a holiday, a customer will never go longer than a week without service. All residential customers will receive recycling service on Wednesday. If a holiday is on Wednesday, recycling service will move to Saturday for that week. In an additional negotiated enhancement to this service, Republic has agreed to annually review the holiday schedule and work with City staff to determine alternate days to provide residents with an extra pickup in order to reduce the gap between service days when holidays occur. For the first year of the contract and every year after, the holiday schedule will be established before October 1st.
In early June City staff will begin meeting with the Republic implementation team and a schedule and details for the transition plan will be finalized.
No later than July 1, 2020, Republic must furnish a transition plan that provides a detailed description of how Contractor will plan and prepare for providing residential solid waste collection services, residential recyclables collection services, yard waste, bulky waste and commercial solid waste collection services leading up to the commencement date on October 1, 2020. The transition plan must meet the approval of the City Manager. This plan will include details regarding customer outreach and education plans related to the new services.
If you have questions or require additional information, please feel free to contact Palm Bay Public Works Customer Service at (321) 952-3437.