Trash Contract Is up for Review, City Said to Be Mulling a Change

The City of Boston’s Public Works Department (PWD) is in the midst of re-evaluating a new five-year trash pickup contract – set to make a decision between two major contractors in the next week or so.

The City said right now they are in the final stages of completing the new trash collection contracts, and believe they will be done in mid-April. Beyond that, they hope to have the new contractor chosen and a contract signed.

The current contractor is Sunrise Scavenger, who took the contract five years ago from East Boston’s Capitol Waste Services. Now, both companies are vying for the downtown contract for the coming five-year period.

When Sunrise won the contract five years ago, it was to applause from some downtown neighborhoods as Capitol had a spotty history with the cleanliness of their pick-ups – particularly on smaller streets or in alleys of the South End and Back Bay.

Some neighborhoods have indicated many of those problems have dissipated since Scavenger came on as the contractor.

While the official contract isn’t completed and City officials would not confirm it, word on the street was that Capitol seemed to have the edge in the process as they are said to have had a much lower bid in so as to win back the business.

An official announcement is expected within the next two weeks.

Steve Fox of the South End Forum said trash issues were paramount at the Forum when Capitol was the contractor. He said he is hoping that Sunrise is able to keep the contract.

“I am very concerned about changing the vendor based on our experience before Sunrise and our experiences with Sunrise,” he said. “Our experience between the two over a 10-year period was night and day…Now that we’ve experienced them under the new contract, we know what a positive performance looks like. We won’t expect anything less in the future.”

In a related matter, the City is also evaluating the contract for disposal – meaning where the trash trucks take the trash to get rid of it. The City has used Wheelabrator Technologies in the Rumney Marsh on the Lynn side for many years. A second bidder has emerged in Lynn’s Covanta Energy. Both are vying for the contract with Boston – the largest trash contract in the area.

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