Private recycling collectors claim they’re out nearly $3 million annually, after the city took control of residential curbside recycling in April.
According to the Curbside Recycling Association of Southern Alberta bidding guidelines were made unattainable for private recyclers.
Steve Tisshaw, owner of Recycle Blue and representative for CRASA, said the only way a private recycling company would have received a contract with the city is if they had $10 million and were willing to buy new trucks. Tisshaw said none of the private recyclers in the curbside association had that kind of money.
This apparently cleared the way for the city union to secure the contract, Tishaw claims.
“The city asked waste and recycling to work with us,” said Tisshaw, adding he believes the department decided to go in a different direction.
It has left a big hole in Tisshaw’s business. The curbside recycling association is claiming the city has taken away the approximate $2.8 million they made annually, and as a result of this the association is suing the city for $7.5 million, claiming the city has created a monopoly.
Private recyclers aren’t the only ones who expressed concern with the bidding process. Information from minutes in a Calgary Chamber of Commerce presentation to the standing policy committee on utilities and environment in February of 2008 showed there were problems from the beginning.
“In regards to the recycling program as currently formulated, the Chamber believes that a less than optimal RFP process, or a critical oversight in the RFP document or process, resulted in awarding 100 per cent of the contract to one of the drafters of the RFP,” stated the minutes.
Repeated calls for comment from the waste and recycling services went unanswered.