What was the process?
The County's procurement policies and municipal best practices ensure Councillors have information they need to make an informed and appropriate decision. Many municipal practices are based on the Honourable Madam Justice Denise E. Bellamy's inquiry in the City of Toronto, such as:
- Procurement practices are designed to be fair, transparent, and objective processes. These processes are structured so that they are and clearly appear to be completely free from political influence
- Members of Council should not see any documents or receive any information related to a particular procurement while the procurement process is ongoing
- In procurements where, by virtue of the dollar value or their contentious nature, Council will make the final decision
- The bidding and the awarding of contracts process requires certain amount of anonymity to ensure proprietary information is kept secure and that personal bias is not a factor in the decision-making process.
procurement and steps were taken as part of the waste contract procurement
- Council was fully engaged in a publicly accessible forum regarding waste collection services on no fewer than 12 occasions.
- Council gave direction to staff in late 2019 to investigate and undertake an Request For Proposal (RFP) process for the next waste contract (which comes into effect in Fall 2021).
- The RFP was issued through bidsandtenders.ca, a third party public bidding platform on January 3, 2020 (RFP 2019-061).
- There were four bidders (proponents), many of whom submitted multiple proposals for this RFP. Two proponents met the minimum technical requirements.
- Examples of evaluated criteria in the RFP scoring process would be experience, vehicle and equipment resources, operating plan, quality assurance, and the financial proposal.
- In April, staff
brought forward to Council a confidential report (in Closed Session) regarding
the results of the Waste Collections RFP. The report was maintained in
confidence as staff were seeking direction of County Council regarding the RFP
results, and to obtain direction to enter into negotiations
with the highest scoring proponent (as per the Request for Proposal process)
and, subject to successful negotiations, execute a contract following the
completion of successful negotiations. Had the report been public, it would
have notified the highest scoring proponent of a pending award of contract and
may have negatively impacted the County’s negotiating position and ability to
obtain best value.
- Information provided to Council included the results of both the technical and financial evaluation, by east and west zones and for manual and automated options. Proponent (company) names were not provided at this stage, as they had no bearing on a company's ability to perform and to ensure personal bias is not a factor in the decision-making process (this is standard municipal procurement practice).
- Council discussed and provided direction and instructions to staff to be applied to negotiations on the contract options as provided through the RFP process in closed session. There were no questions on the names of the bidding companies during Council discussion, nor following the meeting.
- County Council supported and directed the inclusion of the automated cart collection option, with one provider to service the entire County, and gave direction to staff to proceed with negotiating terms of a contract to secure the best rate and service.
- Following completion of successful negotiations, staff reported back to County Council through a public report which confirmed the finalization of a contract with Miller Waste Systems for automated cart collection that will run from November 2021 to the November 2028 (with a two-year option to extend).
What are the costs?
The costs for the new collection system have been fairly decided on the open market through our RFP process. It should be noted that in addition to Miller Waste Systems being the highest scoring submission through the evaluation, it was also the lowest cost for the automated system compared to the other bids that passed the technical screening requirement.
The cost of automated
cart collection is estimated at $315 annually for the average County home,
including the cost of carts, collection service, net waste processing fees for
the various materials collected, waste export costs and related administrative
costs. The $315 per year ($26.25 per month average) for full curbside collection service compares very favourably with other common services such as cell phone, cable TV, internet and streaming services. This investment will significantly improve the reliability of our collection system.
The County is aware of a number of municipalities, including the separated City of Orillia, that have seen significant increases (reported around double for the same type of work) in new waste collection contracts that have been confirmed in the past year. The confidential report identified the cost of annual collections in the new contract and noted that industry rates are rising and municipal jurisdictions across the province will be impacted.
What is automated cart collection?
Automated cart collection is a system whereby wastes (in our case: garbage, recycling, and organics) are set out in special wheeled carts which are emptied using a mechanical arm on the collection vehicle (shown above), instead of workers having to exit the vehicle at every stop, lift bags and empty containers by hand.
Why is the County moving toward automated cart collection?
To mitigate ongoing labour shortages - Trends indicate that nation-wide labour shortages for truck drivers will continue to worsen. The Ontario Trucking Association estimates a shortage of 34,000 drivers across Canada by 2024. The physicality of the job further reduces the available labour pool; however, automated cart collection will allow a broader range of workers to perform the job and reduce the potential for future service impacts. Carts will also significantly reduce driver injuries from repetitive strain, slips and falls.
To assist with storage capacity – With the transition to biweekly collection of garbage and recyclables, residents are storing their garbage and recycling for two weeks. Carts will provide additional storage until collection day, without significantly increasing the floor space required. The lids will also help deter animals and reduce wind-blown litter.
To address health precautions – Automated collection helps address infection control measures during a pandemic such as the current COVID-19 outbreak as the carts are not physically touched by collection staff. This reduces the potential spread of infection and waste collection service impacts during a crisis. In light of SARS, H1N1 and now COVID-19, this decision is prudent to help ensure the continuity of waste collection services in the future.
What is the size of the carts?
At County of Simcoe Committee of the Whole meeting on November 24, 2020, the sizes of the carts were determined through a procurement process and approved by County Council as follows:
- Garbage Cart: 240 L - 50% increase in garbage limit, 1.16 sq. ft. more floor space than 120 L
- Organics Cart: 120 L
- Recycling Cart: 360 L
The carts will utilize blow-mold plastic wheels and have all black cart bodies, with the lids to reduce blowing litter and which are coloured to indicate contents as this resulted in an approximate $180,000 savings versus having individually coloured bins. The organics carts will also utilize a gravity operated cart lock to add convenience for residents and help eliminate the potential for entry by animals.
Each serviced unit will receive a set of carts starting next summer and through the fall. The carts have wheels and can be very easily wheeled to the curb without lifting. Carts provide vertical storage; the three carts to be provided will take up less floor space than the equivalent volume of material stored in smaller recycling boxes, bins and bags. Cart sizes have been selected to best service the average family.
A comprehensive marketing and education program will be undertaken prior to the launch of the new program to communicate and promote this method of collection.
How many carts will each household receive and how do we get them?
Each eligible location will receive a set of three carts: One large cart for recyclables; one medium-sized cart for garbage; and one smaller cart for organics. The carts will be delivered prior to November 2021, with the distribution process taking several weeks to complete. More information will be provided closer to program commencement.
Will I be eligible for carts if I live in an apartment, condominium or on a private road?
You must be currently receiving curbside waste
collection from the County of Simcoe to be eligible for cart collection. To
determine eligibility for curbside waste collection service at your apartment,
condominium development, or private road please have your property management
company contact the County at email@example.com or 1-800-263-3199.
What if I am a seasonal resident using a garbage box to contain all my waste items?
You will no longer require a garbage box as a
means to contain your waste when you leave your seasonal property: the carts
will do this job for you. In other rural communities utilizing carts, many
residents choose to leave their carts at the end of their driveway (off to the
side) similar to a garbage box, only removing the carts for storage at the end
of the cottage season. Please check local municipal bylaw policies for applicability.
What will I do with all my old containers (blue boxes, green bin and garbage cans)?
Once the cart program commences, unwanted green bins, recycling boxes and garbage pails can be brought to a County Waste Facility (free of charge) to be recycled. More information will be provided closer to program commencement. Alternatively, there are many ways to repurpose your old bins:
Blue Boxes – Work great for storage, and can be used for occasional overflow recyclables or to place your leaf and yard waste at the curb.
Garbage Cans – Can be used for occasional overflow garbage but will require a garbage tag. Garbage cans are also handy for storing leaf and yard waste for collections (leave open so materials inside are obvious for collectors duing leaf and yard waste pick up.
Green Bins – Green bins can be used to store items like birdseed, pet food or driveway salt in the winter.
How will I get the carts to the curb on collection day if I am elderly, disabled, have a long driveway, or if there is snow?
Other communities that have implemented cart
collection indicate that initially residents had similar concerns; however,
after implementation the feedback on carts is very positive. Moving
wheeled carts down the driveway is much easier and more ergonomic than carrying
various blue boxes and garbage cans (handles are at a more convenient height than the current organic bins). In other rural communities utilizing
carts, many residents choose to leave their carts at the end of their driveway
(off to the side) similar to a garbage box and bring material to deposit into
their carts as needed (please check localy municipal bylaws policies) As for snow and winter conditions, many northern
communities are successfully using carts such as Timmins Ontario, Winnipeg
Manitoba and communities in Alaska.