Is Recycling in Shreveport Nearing an End?
Trash troubles are on the way for the city of Shreveport. Pratt Industries has had a deal to take the recycling contents collected in Shreveport. Republic Services has provided the collection of the recycling on a bi-weekly basis.
The city collects $2.50 a month from about 66,000 homes. But the numbers show only about 13,000 residents actually recycle. The city passes all of that money to Republic and the city pays for the blue recycling bins (which cost about $65 apiece).
Pratt benefits by getting the recycled materials which it can resell.
The monthly fee generates nearly $2 million every year for the city.
Republic also runs the Woolworth Road landfill and has depended on taking the "sludge" from Pratt. But Pratt has also been using a landfill in DeSoto Parish which has cut into the revenue going to Republic.
Chris Bloxham with Republic Services has told city leaders the contract for the recycling program ends at the end of October and the company has no plans to renew the deal.
Here's the letter Bloxham wrote to Mayor Adrian Perkins and Chief Administrative Officer Henry Whitehorn:
It appears from yesterday’s meeting that the recycling relationship between the city of Shreveport and Republic is no longer a realistic option. I appreciate and respect that you have to make decisions that best represent the city and even though I had hoped that we could avoid this situation I need what your exit strategy is for our contract that ends in the next couple of months. I understand that recycling is not the right application for Shreveport at this time and continuing to provide a service that is not wanted for the next two months seems meaningless. I regret that the city did not want to continue with this program however I respect your decision and hope we can create an exit strategy that benefits everyone.
General Manager Hauling
Councilman John Nickelson has been keeping a close eye on these negotiations and he responded to Bloxham's email with this:
I appreciate Republic's efforts to reach an agreement on renewal of its recycling collection contract with the city, and I'm confident Mayor Perkins and his administration will work to ensure a smooth transition. I do expect Republic to honor its obligation to continue collection of recycling through the conclusion of our existing contract.
Nickelson also asked CAO Whitehorn begin the process of issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new recycling contractor "willing to sign a comprehensive agreement requiring best efforts to collect and recycle all materials that can be economically recycled."
CAO Whitehorn says leaders are discussing going out for a new RFP, but Whitehorn also says "we also had a conversation with Councilman Boucher regarding outsourcing all solid waste disposal. Currently our plan is to issue an RFP for waste recycling within the next three weeks or sooner if possible. The administration is not considering outsourcing solid waste disposal at this time."