Recycling bidder
faces elimination

Changes to contract rules could
disqualify Island Recycling

Budget provisions added by the City Council could eliminate a leading bidder for Oahu's islandwide recycling contract.

While the proposed budget contains $2.5 million to begin the service, the council would require that any company receiving the contract be free of any federal, state or city violations for at least a year.

Within the past year, Island Recycling, the company running the city's test recycling project in Mililani, has received a notice for violating state clean water laws, faced fines for violating city building codes and owed rent and electricity payments to the state Department of Transportation.

Island Recycling submitted the low bid for processing city recycling.

"The City Council is in favor of recycling," Public Works Chairman Rod Tam said yesterday. "I will vote for the budget and continue to review (the administration's plans) to make sure curbside recycling comes about as a very positive program for the future."

The city Department of Environmental Services still must chose between two options on taking curbside recycling to 140,000 Oahu homes:

>> Using city trucks and workers to collect recyclables then paying a contractor to process and sell the items.

>> Picking a contractor to collect and process recyclables.

The apparent low-bidder for the processing-only contract for glass, aluminum, newspaper, cardboard and plastic bottles was Island Recycling, at $1.1 million a year. A second bidder, Honolulu Recovery systems, bid $2 million a year. The total cost per year for curbside recycling would be about $5 million if the city handled collection, said city Recycling Coordinator Suzanne Jones.

The sole bidder to pick up and process curbside recycling was Honolulu Disposal Service Inc., at $13 million a year.

Jones said yesterday that she cannot comment on which bid the city will accept until after a protest from a rejected bidder is resolved. International Resource Recovery Inc., a California firm, complained that the timing between bid announcement and a mandatory pre-bid conference was too short. The complaint may be heard Tuesday by a hearing examiner with the state Department Commerce and Consumer Affairs.


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