Trash Troubles: Mayor Henry will lobby state lawmakers to change rule that forced city to accept Red River’s low bid

Henry says the company wasn’t prepared with the proper trucks and equipment to navigate through Fort Wayne’s many alleyways to pick up trash.
Fort Wayne's NBC Anchor Tom Powell interviews Mayor Tom Henry
Fort Wayne's NBC Anchor Tom Powell interviews Mayor Tom Henry(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:12 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - During an interview with Fort Wayne’s NBC Anchor Tom Powell Tuesday, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said his administration hopes to convince state lawmakers to make a change. He wants them to change the law that requires municipalities like Fort Wayne to go with the lowest bid when they’re seeking a new contract for garbage collection.

“Red River was almost like the perfect storm,” Henry says. “They came into our city with very...
“Red River was almost like the perfect storm,” Henry says. “They came into our city with very little experience in alley pick-up.”(Fort Wayne's NBC)

The mayor says the city was forced to go with Red River’s low bid three-and-a-half years ago because it beat the next lowest bid by $1.5 million.“Red River was almost like the perfect storm,” Henry says. “They came into our city with very little experience in alley pick-up.” Henry says the company wasn’t prepared with the proper trucks and equipment to navigate through Fort Wayne’s many alleyways to pick up trash. He says paying for that equipment was a large expense the contractor didn’t anticipate.

A change in state law could allow the city to contract with a company that has more experience in the future. But what about the mayor’s current problem? Many of you at home are worried that your trash service will suddenly stop if Red River folds. The company is currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. “If they can pull out of this, great. If they can’t, we’ll know in the next several months,” Herny says.

But as much as Mayor Henry wants Red River to recover from the current financial mess, he did recognize the possibility they won’t. “They’ve never been able to recover from that very first year, and I don’t know if they ever will,” he says.

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