City of Austin Waste Policy Issues

Texas Disposal Systems is working to ensure that local and state policies impacting waste services are premised on transparency, environmental integrity and fiscal responsibility. In Austin, TDS is a stakeholder in the ongoing City Council Waste Management Policy Working Group reform process, launched in April 2017 after the City Council rejected every waste contract proposed by City staff in 2016.

Of twelve Working Group policy recommendations made in July 2017, none have yet been considered by the full City Council.   This has left large City waste contracts locked down with current contractors, at increased rates, rather than being rebid to improve performance or save money. The most important Working Group recommendation, to reform Austin’s Anti-Lobbying Ordinance to ensure fairness and transparency in the City’s waste contracting process, is expected to be considered by the City Council soon.

City Council Waste Management Policy Working Group

TDS is participating in the ongoing Austin City Council Waste Management Policy Working Group process to develop and adopt reform recommendations for ensuring transparency, environmental integrity and financial responsibility in the City’s management of waste, recyclables, organics and other disposal streams.   At this time none of the twelve Working Group policy recommendations issued in July 2017 have yet been considered by the full City Council.

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Reforming Austin’s Anti-Lobbying Ordinance

TDS is advocating for reform of the City of Austin’s Anti-Lobbying Ordinance to protect free speech rights and ensure fairness and transparency during the City’s waste procurement process.   The City Council is expected to consider staff-proposed ALO revisions soon.

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Reforming Austin’s Landfill Criteria Matrix

TDS is advocating for reform of the City’s criteria matrix for selecting landfill facilities to service City contracts to ensure environmental integrity and financial responsibility.  At this time City staff is proposing criteria revisions which are under review by the Zero Waste Advisory Commission and stakeholders.

Coming Soon

Solicitation: Beneficial Reuse of Biosolids

Potential 10-year, $20,350,678 contract for beneficial reuse of 100,000+ cubic yards of biosolids produced at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant.  RFP CDL2003 REBID.

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Solicitation: Citywide Dumpster Collection Services

Potential 6-year, $16,995,000 contract for non-residential collection services for refuse, recycling, brush, compostable materials, special events, Class 2 special non-hazardous waste and emergency collection services.  RFP SLW0514.

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Solicitation: Organics Processing Services

Potential 6-year, $4,360,000 contract for processing, sorting, composting and marketing services for the City’s curbside yard waste, food scraps and food soiled compostable paper materials collected citywide from approximately 210,000 households.RFP SLW0509 REBID.

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Solicitation: Curbside Textile Recycling Services

Potential 6-year contract for the development and implementation of citywide curbside soft textile recyclable materials collection from approximately 192,000 households.  RFP SLW0511.

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 Solicitation: Sale and Removal of Compost Material

Potential 6 year $387,000 contract for purchase and removal services of an estimated 75,000 cubic yards per year of unscreened biosolids and yard trimmings compost material. RFP JXP0501 Issued March 28, 2016

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Central Business District Organics Pilot

RFP SLW0515 Issued June 20, 2016
Potential 3 year contract for organics/compost collection services for the downtown central business district, City Hall and other downtown businesses.The program will assist the City in determining effective methods to establish the incorporation of business wide organics collections services within the central business district and other areas.

Coming Soon

Waste Management of Texas, Inc.

In 1997, following Waste Management’s publication of false statements about TDS and its landfill, TDS sued Waste Management for defamation and other claims. In 2010, a jury found in favor of TDS and awarded $5.45 million in actual damages and $20 million in exemplary damages, finding that Waste Management had knowingly published false and defamatory statements about TDS and its Creedmoor, Texas landfill in 1997 after TDS received approval from the San Antonio City Council, but before the contract was signed for a 30-year landfill disposal and transfer station contract, and during the decision making process for a City of Austin 30 year disposal and recycling services contract.

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Penske

A truck carrying a trailer load of color television tubes overturned on IH-35 in a vehicle accident that caused the tubes to break, thereby making them a hazardous waste due to the lead content. Some of the tubes were sent to the TDS Landfill by first responders and state authorities, based on representations made by the trucking company, and occurred prior to first responders and TDSL personnel being notified by Penske that the broken tubes were hazardous waste.

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