White Rock's solid-waste collection service for single-family homes is under review.

White Rock council focuses on mechanical waste pickup

City staff recommend contracting out manual garbage collection.

The City of White Rock will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for contracting out mechanical single-family garbage collection, following a council vote this week.

Staff recommended in April that the city move forward with contracting out solid-waste collection for 4,065 homes, citing $94,000 in annual savings as well as reduced WorkSafe premiums for the city in the long term.

Council members at that time, however, had concerns about the proposal; Coun. Lynne Sinclair tabled a motion for staff to provide a more detailed report on mechanical-collection options – in which garbage pickup is automated – as opposed to manual collection outlined in the proposed contract.

At the May 9 council meeting, staff presented a report indicating a new, mechanical-only RFP would need to be issued should the city wish to pursue that option. Staff estimated completion of the RFP and review of its results wouldn’t be completed until September.

On Monday, staff once again recommended the city reward the collection contract to Emterra, however, council carried a motion – tabled by Coun. Grant Meyer – to issue the RFP.

“I’d like to get all the facts and knowledge we can before we make a decision,” Meyer said.

Greg St. Louis, the city’s director of engineering and municipal operations told council that switching to mechanical collection would mean the city would have to break its contract with Multi-Material BC (MMBC), a non-profit organization that works with local governments on recycling initiatives.

He said mechanical options were explored during the initial RFP issued in February 2015, but “upfront capital costs” were a deterrent of pursing that route.

“The selection committee when we evaluated the proposals determined that the best option was manual collection,” St. Louis said.

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