City takes major step toward new trash, recycling company

GFL Environmental is poised to assume trash collection in Fort Wayne
GFL Environmental is poised to assume trash collection in Fort Wayne(source: GFL Environmental)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The Fort Wayne Board of Works has approved the bid selection of GFL Environmental, which is now expected to take over the collection of trash and recyclables in the City this summer. The process still requires action by the City Council.

The announcement came during a meeting Tuesday evening and followed the disclosure previously that GFL submitted the lowest bid for the contract. The company would assume responsibilities from Red River Waste Solutions, the troubled firm that has been criticized and fined for its failure to meet expectations since beginning what was supposed to be a seven-year term of service in 2018.

City Council members said the Public Works Department awarded the bid at its meeting this morning. They say it’s up to the Fort Wayne City Council to approve it now. That is expected to happen next month, and the new provider could be in place some time this summer -- likely July 1.

PREVIOUSLY: Three companies submit bids for solid waste contract

GFL (”Green for Life”) says it currently serves more than four million households through municipal contracts and arrangements with individual customers. The company is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, and operates in Canadian and U.S. markets.

A slide presentation shows GFL Environmental submitted the lowest qualified bid to assume trash...
A slide presentation shows GFL Environmental submitted the lowest qualified bid to assume trash collection in Fort Wayne.(WPTA)

Public Works Department Director Shan Gunawardena says there may be some changes though. He says he believes rates will be slightly higher than what they are now. Also, the new company won’t accept an unlimited amount of trash like Red River did in the past. Lastly, the city will take over bulk item removal.

“I’m confident in the new provider. It’s going to be a new day, a new operation. I think it’s going to be a tremendous improvement,” he said. “Every day my confidence with this provider is growing.”

Once the city administration approves the GFL contract, city council members will take a look at it. Councilwoman Michelle Chambers says she will be looking closely.

“The more time we can spend with our eyes on that contract, that’s really critical so we are not back in this position 5 years from now,” she said.

Chambers says she also wants to make sure the city develops an advertising campaign to make sure people are aware of the new trash collector and the changes.

GLF Environmental will take over July 1st.

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