Contracting for Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Services
The task of successfully obtaining acceptable terms and rates for the collection of solid waste and recycling materials has become much more complex as the cost of providing those services has increased. In a time of increasing costs, obtaining a contract which provides the most service for the lowest rates for a community becomes critical since the results of the contract will affect the customers for many years. Using a professional consultant to assist in the contracting process is one way to assure that this process receives the attention necessary while the day-to-day business of the government proceeds as usual.
Why Use a Collection Service Consultant?
There are several benefits to be gained from hiring a professional collection service consultant to assist in the process of obtaining solid waste and recycling collection services:
- Overall Experience – Solid waste consultants, such as SCS Management Services (SCS-MS), have extensive experience with the solid waste industry. Solid waste is their specialty; they work in the field daily. More importantly, they are regularly involved with collection service programs, contracts and contract term and rate analysis.
- Financial Analysis – Your solid waste consultant should have the experience and ability to provide the necessary financial analysis. SCS-MS is one of the few solid waste consulting firms in the nation with project managers who are certified public accountants with backgrounds in both governmental accounting and auditing, and experience with solid waste systems. This type of expertise provides the consultant with an insight into the financial needs of both the government and the collectors.
- Contract Terms – Contract terms are extremely important. A consultant can combine the needs of your residents with the experience gained from preparing and analyzing numerous collection contracts to produce a contract that is easy to understand yet minimizes “misunderstandings.”
- Balance – A collection contract should be balanced between containing tight specifications, which meet your needs while taking into account all conceivable situations, and being flexible enough to allow for the proper handling of future events. Experience with many collection service contracts allows the consultant to help you achieve that balance.
- Adequate Preparation Time – Your consultant’s time will be dedicated to preparing the contract and other bid documents. Government employees must split their time between many important tasks – all of which need to be done immediately. Professional consultants have one task – to assist you in obtaining the best contract terms and rate possible.
- Knowledge of Individual Collectors – Experienced solid waste collection service specialists have experience in dealing with the same solid waste collection companies in various locations. As a result, they are familiar with the company’s policies and strategies. They often know many of the collectors’ weaknesses and strengths before the bid documents are received and read.
- Legislative Issues – An experienced solid waste consulting firm is aware of current and proposed solid waste legislation and considers how it will affect each client. As a result, your program will be designed and your contract will be drafted to include consideration for legislation which will be implemented after the contract is signed.
- Experience in Contracting – A solid waste collection service consultant has experience in dealing with solid waste collection services. Collection service contracts are not just about contract terms, and they are not just about dollars and cents. To successfully obtain the best contract terms and the best rate, the consultant must understand the underlying terms of the contract, the components which make up the total rate and how they interact.
- Collection and Disposal Rates – The solid waste rate is comprised of the collection service rate and the disposal rate. There are major differences in the factors upon which collection and disposal rates are based. Experienced collection service consultants understand those differences and will assist you in designing your contract to obtain separate collection and disposal rate factors.
- Rate Adjustments – Rate adjustment procedures are an important part of structuring a solid waste services contract. Experienced consultants understand that a contract which spells out specific procedures for dealing with rate adjustments will eliminate the necessity for continually dealing with costly and recurring rate negotiations.
- The Long and the Short – Experienced collection service consultants consider the long-term and short-term aspects of the contract. They understand that the contract terms must meet the needs of the customers over the life of the contract or the rates are meaningless. Conversely, “great rates” for services which are not sufficient lose their appeal in a short time.
- The Real Goal – A solid waste consultant understands that the real goal is to obtain the best contract terms and the best rate over the life of the contract.
Successfully contracting for solid waste and recycling collection service terms and rates involve many complex concepts. The results are usually long-term – 5 years or longer. Utilizing a professional consultant with collection service contracting experience can help you avoid many problems during those years.
SCS Management Services is a division of SCS Engineers, an independent, employee-owned environmental consulting firm specializing in solid waste management. SCS has offices nationwide providing services to clients across the country.
For more information about how SCS Management Services can assist you with contracting for your collection services, contact
SCS Management Services
3012 U.S. Highway 301 North
Tampa, FL 33619
FAX: (813) 623-6757
3900 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 100
Long Beach, CA 90806-6816
FAX: (310) 427-0805