Proposal to reform trash collection bid process sails through House

Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) speaks in support of a bill changing the rules regarding...
Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) speaks in support of a bill changing the rules regarding waste service contracts.(WPTA)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 3:25 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A proposal that would grant cities across Indiana more flexibility when assigning lucrative trash collection contracts eased out of the full State House of Representatives on Tuesday and is headed to the State Senate

The bill would allow local governments to use a “Request for Proposal” process in awarding waste service contracts, a change from current rules that require contracts be awarded to the lowest bidder who meets minimum qualifications.

HB1286 was prompted by widespread problems with waste and recycling collection in Fort Wayne. It was authored by Rep. Martin Carbaugh and co-sponsored by three other Fort Wayne-area representatives.

It passed the full House on a vote of 85-4 after advancing last week out of committee.

In brief statements preceding the vote, Carbaugh cited ongoing problems with contractor Red River Waste Solutions, which won the Fort Wayne contract three years ago. Carbaugh noted that company’s recent filing for bankruptcy in his remarks and said the City and its residents seek “more flexibility” in selecting a service provider.

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, one of the co-sponsors, also spoke in support of HB1286.

Under current code, only the City of Indianapolis may use a Request for Proposal approach to waste collection contracts.

On Tuesday evening, the Fort Wayne City Council is expected to vote on a resolution urging further support of the bill, which is headed to the State Senate for action and which also requires the signature of Gov. Eric Holcomb (or an override of his veto, should the governor decline to sign the bill).

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