Waste Management customers posted thank you notes on their bins for workers to see on pick-up day in King County. Courtesy photo

Waste Management customers posted thank you notes on their bins for workers to see on pick-up day in King County. Courtesy photo

Auburn to contract with single waste hauler for first time

For the last nine years, two solid waste haulers, Waste Management of Auburn, and Republic Services of Kent, have served two different geographical areas of Auburn.

But now that the city has completed its meticulous, multi-year evaluation process, it appears that soon there will be only one.

On July 13, staff recommended the city award the 10-year hauling contract to Waste Management. Should the Auburn City Council follow that recommendation, the new contract will go into effect in September 2021, said Joan Nelson, utility billing and solid waste services supervisor for the city of Auburn.

“We’re very excited because for the first time ever, we will have one contracted hauler in the city, so all of our residents will get the same service and have the same rates,” Nelson said.

The city council cannot take formal action at a work session and has yet to vote on awarding of the contract.

Nelson said the city still needs to finalize rates and complete other tasks that were not in the original contracts

Nelson said Waste Management outscored Republic in the head to head evaluation, 93.43 to 88.03, which touched on multiple parameters. The score breaks down to 60 percent quantitative — i.e., rates — and 40 percent qualitative, in such areas as customer service, operations, outreach and education, contract implementation, material management, and innovation and sustainability.

Republic’s franchise agreement and Waste Management’s regular contract were negotiated in 2011, and later the city extended those agreements both the maximum two times. Both were ready to expire on Sept. 30, 2021.

For this matter, the city sent out its request for proposals from interested haulers on Dec. 19, 2019. The final proposals from the haulers were originally to be back to the city by April 15, but that date was extended to May 1 because of COVID-19.

A special committee evaluated what the city received and visited the haulers’ facilities.

“We expect to bring the final contract for approval in late September this year. Then we will have a full year for the hauler to order trucks, carts, or do routing and to do all the outreach has to happen,” Nelson said.

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