New Britain renews trash collection contract with hauler now providing the service

Published on Friday, 14 February 2020 11:41
Written by Catherine Shen

@cshenNBH

NEW BRITAIN – CWPM will continue to provide residential trash collection, recycling and bulky waste collection for the next five years.

The Common Council Thursday unanimously approved the renewal of a five-year contract with CWPM, which will be providing residential curbside rubbish, recycling and bulky waste collection services. The new contract will start on July 1 and run through June 30, 2025, with the option to extend for three one-year extensions. The total annual cost will be about $1.98 million and they met with all bid specifications, according to the city.

Located in Plainville and New London, CWPM provides waste removal, recycling services and dumpster rentals to customers throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. Family owned and operated, CWPM has a team of over 230 professionals with more than 200 years of managerial experience and industry knowledge.

Mark Moriarty, public works director, said the company has both the physical and financial capacity to do the work.

The city opened its bid process in mid-January and received two bids. Waste Material Trucking Co. Inc. submitted the other bid and, while it was the lower of the two, the city opted for CWPM, which has contracted with the city for several years.

Michele Zommer of Waste Material Trucking, spoke during public participation and urged the council to revisit the bids. The company has provided waste and recycling services to state residents and businesses since 1937. Under its bid, the annual cost would be about $1.84 million, an estimated cost difference of $137,500 per year. This was the first time they made a New Britain bid.

“We’re aware that the city has given large contracts to start-up companies in the past, so the idea that our 80-year-old company is too small is simply disingenuous,” she said. Zommer also pointed out the fact that there were only two bidders, which should be alarming.

“What happens when you only have one bid left?” she said. “What will happen to your trash costs when there is no one left to put price pressure and keep contractors honest?”

When asked by Alderman Chris Anderson if the final decision was made based on the ability to do the work, Moriarty said yes.

“We basically had concerns for the capacity of the company [Waste Materials Trucking] to perform the service,” said Moriarty, who mentioned that during the company’s follow-up interview, the city was told that they would purchase more vehicles and hire additional employees for the job.

“Which is unheard of, they should already have them,” he said. One of the most important aspects of trash collection is for the collection to be on time. Any qualified company would need to already have extra help in place to do the work in case of an accident or weather-related delays. “I just don’t think they’ll be able to absorb the work when something goes down,” said Moriarty.

Mark Zommer, president and general manager for Waste Materials Trucking, said he felt like he had to defend himself and his company during this process. He said they went into great detail to calculate the total cost and knew precisely what was needed for a job of this size.

When he met with city officials, he said he felt the city had no interest in their firm.

“I’m just disappointed,” said Mark Zommer. “It just shows the incompetency of city hall and it’s shameful that the public works department put the contract out to bid. It was a waste of our time.”

Anderson emphasized that the city has the responsibility to choose the people who can actually do the work.

Mayor Erin Stewart previously said the city has the right to make decisions based on the lowest responsible qualified bidder. The city also provided both companies the same opportunities to present their cases and followed up with second interviews and references.

Contact Catherine Shen at 860-801-5093 or cshen@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 14 February 2020 11:41. Updated: Friday, 14 February 2020 11:44.