Jackson issues new RFP for trash collections. Here’s how it differs from the previous one.

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:31 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The city of Jackson is officially seeking a new trash contractor.

On Thursday, the city issued a request for proposals for residential waste collections. Proposals are due on December 18.

The RFP comes about a week after Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said he would issue the request, and about two weeks after the city council ordered him to do so.

It includes several changes from the city’s previous RFP, which was issued back in October 2021. Among those changes, the proposal addresses what would happen if Richard’s Disposal prevails in its current appeal against the city in Hinds County Circuit Court.

It also includes a mandate to require companies to provide trash carts, or 96-gallon trash bins that residents must use to have their garbage picked up.

“I know the carts look better,” Jackson Director of Communications Melissa Faith Payne said. “Residents have told us they want a cart.”

According to provisions, any contract awarded under the RFP would be subject to the city’s ongoing suit with Richard’s and could be terminated based on the ruling in that case.

“Any contract entered into pursuant to this current [RFP] shall be subject to the decision of the court... and the decision of an appeal of that decision, if any,” the RFP states.

It goes on to state that if the city is forced to end the new contract as a result of the court ruling, the winning firm would waive any right to sue, and would help with the transition back to Richard’s.

Richard’s filed suit against the city earlier this year, asking the Hinds County Circuit Court to overturn the city council’s decision to deny the company a long-term contract. The city had rejected bringing on the firm multiple times, with some members citing the company’s experience.

The council was expected to meet twice this week to discuss an item ordering the city attorney to seek a dismissal of the complaint. However, both meetings were canceled.

Any contract awarded under the RFP would be for a little more than six years, running from April 1, 2024, to September 30, 2030. The city would then have the option of offering the company four one-year extensions.

The contractor chosen would be required to provide carts. An appendix in the RFP asks bidders to include a price per month for once-a-week and twice-a-week collections, with the cart cost included. Previously, the city was also open to options that did not require carts.

The scoring criteria also has changed. Proposals will now be evaluated on three factors: technical proposal, minority participation, and overall costs.

Cost will account for 80 percent of a proposal’s score, compared to just 35 percent in the October 2021 RFP.

The mayor says he chose Richard’s last time based on price. However, several council members rejected the firm because it scored lower than other companies on its technical proposal.

Under the new RFP, technical proposal accounts for 15 percent of a company’s total overall score, while minority participation accounts for five percent. Those categories counted for twice those amounts in the October 2021 RFP.

Other notable changes include:

  • The contractor chosen cannot use vehicles older than two years.
  • Any carts provided by the garbage contractor would be owned by the city, not the service provider.
  • The city is no longer doing a blind evaluation of technical proposals. Previously, all service-provider identification had to be removed from hard copies of those proposals before they were submitted.
  • Additionally, the mayor reserves the right to reject any proposals after they’re opened. The previous RFP gave the city the right to reject them.

A copy of the RFP is below.

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