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Detroit Opens 30-Day Bidding Period for Waste Privatization

trash pickup detroitOn the heels of its bankruptcy, the city of Detroit has released a request for proposals for in a move to privatize its solid waste and recycling pickup.

The city hopes the move will improve services while reducing cost.

Detroit wants to sign a five-year contract with a company to provide weekly trash pickup and bi-weekly single-stream recycling services, writes Crain’s Detroit Business. The city is also offering its entire collection fleet for purchase.

Just 9% of the city’s households currently have curbside recycling available.

The city’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr expects a 30-day bidding process. Talks with major waste management companies have focused on more reliable weekly trash pickup, more frequent pickup of bulk items, and the creation of a new recycling program.

Orr says privatization could save the city as much as $15 million per year, and that some of the improvements that would come with privatization could begin as early as late September or early October, reports the Detroit Free Press. A lawyer for city unions, however, has said that outsourcing could end up costing the city more than it is currently paying, even with bids that are significantly lower.

Orr says that improved city services is an upside to the city’s bankruptcy.

Detroit collects about 400,000 tons of waste a year, according to a 2010 annual report from the city’s Department of Public Works (via Waste & Recycling News).

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