Recycling at NF Transfer Station may close under questionable bid proposals

JoAnn Kalenak, Senior Blogger, DCCR — In our first live-stream of a Commissioner work session — this one dedicated to examining bids to outsource the county’s recycling program — DCCR listened to a confusing slide presentation by County Administrator Robbie LeValley that included conflicting numbers, one substantively altered bid proposal, and one proposal that would increase county spending by 200 percent.


After a brief history of the current recycling program, LeValley summarized two proposals submitted by the same vendor. The first bid dubbed “Proposal A” was completely outside of the bid requirements as John Baier, County Attorney, quickly pointed out. Baier went on to say that “Proposal B” was close to the bid requirements that he and department assistant Brad Lewis had spent months developing. (Under state statute procurement rules, Proposal A is considered to be a “Substitute Bid” and Proposal B, an “Alternative Bid.” Neither proposal qualifies as an “Acceptable Bid” as defined under state procurement code.)


Proposal A would offer free paper and cardboard bins in Hotchkiss, Cedaredge and Delta. Exact locations are unknown and it’s not clear whether the current bins at the North Fork Transfer Station in Hotchkiss would be removed. This proposal includes a charged service of $5 – $25 depending on amount and type of material being recycled. LeValley did not specify the location of this service. The price-tag to the county would be $40,000 (the county now pays $42,000 annually).

Proposal B would also offer free paper and cardboard bins in Hotchkiss, Cedaredge and Delta but includes free recycling “in their location in Austin.” The cost to the county would be $125,000, or 200 percent more than they are currently paying for service at the Transfer Station.

County Attorney John Baier expressed concern over some of the numbers introduced in the presentation. LeValley told Commissioners that Double J Disposal, the county’s current recycler, reported that they average 3,750 cubic yards of recycling — 500 cubic yards of paper, 100 cubic yards of cardboard, 350 cubic yards of plastic, and 2,800 cubic yards of glass. The Request for Proposal (RFP), however, set a requirement of a total of 500 cubic yards. Baier regretted not having been provided the Double J numbers during the RFP development and worried that the price tag in both proposals might be an extreme underestimation.

LeValley closed her presentation with a recommendation that Commissioners accept Proposal B but Commissioners pushed back asking for clarification on the cubic yard counts since their primary goal is to determine how much material is being diverted from the county’s landfill and what financial savings they could see from postponing an expected landfill expansion.

Despite the confusion and questionable bid process, Commissioners plan to make a final decision at their April 20 public business meeting.

Watch the meeting on YouTube.
Download the presentation slides.