Thursday, October 6, 2011

County, NRRT to sign another contract?

I’ll have a story in tomorrow’s paper about a proposal that could lead to the county signing a new contract with Natural Resources Recovery of Tennessee. (Click right smack here for the bad boy online version.)

Although, the folks that operate NRRT aren’t calling it NRRT.

They’re calling it Nature’s Best Organics. Or something like that.

But, I don’t blame them. You know, after all the controversy and all.

That, and it could get past the Knox County Commission. Not that, that’s what they wanted to do or anything. But, a number of commissioners I talked to about the contract said they didn’t realize it was NRRT.

(The proposal before the county also asks the commission approve a contract with another green-waste intake operator as well.)

The county administration told me it hoped a bunch of companies would bid on the contract. Only two did.

And you can check out their scores by clicking right smack here.

I was curious, however, about one thing, and it didn’t make the article.

I included the following in a story I wrote back in July when the county auctioned off the Solway plant and NRRT was the highest bidder:

Interim Public Works and Engineering Director Dwight Van de Vate said Wednesday he expects any brush the county collects on its own to be taken to a 15-acre Forks of the River site, which the county owns, and "three or four times a year have a contract grinder come out and grind it." He said the materials will then be used on public facilities.
Obviously, that's probably not going to happen.

(And I didn't remember to ask Dwight about this until after I filed the story.)

So, here's his response:

We originally planned on this approach, but quickly concluded that any savings we might achieve using our own facility for green waste drop off would be offset by the time and distance issues created by using a single location, as well as the expenses involved in managing the material. It’s essentially the same reason we want the ability to use multiple vendors and multiple locations for drop off. The less time we spend transporting waste material, the more we reduce our fuel and personnel costs. Obviously that will vary depending on price, size of the load and so forth, but the more options we have, the more efficiently we operate.

Also, by using the new contract as proposed, once we drop off the material, we are done with it. This alleviates the need for us to store, grind and manage green waste. There are a whole host of issues associated with green waste storage, including risk of fire, management of runoff, and various environmental considerations. We will let the private sector deal with those, and for a price significantly less than we were previously paying (Our most recent price per ton under the old contract was $27.46).

Regardless of the reasons, some folks are going to take a PR hit for this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People are gonna scream about this, but I was scared Tim was just gonna send green waste to the landfill, so it doesn't bother me that much.