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Fort Wayne Mayor Henry, City Council to lobby state for changes in garbage collection bidding

R.jfif
Red River Waste Solutions
/

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and City Council are collaborating on a resolution for the state General Assembly, asking the body to consider changes to the solid waste bidding process.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and City Council are collaborating on a resolution for the state General Assembly, asking the body to consider changes to the solid waste bidding process.

Last year, Red River Waste Solutions – Fort Wayne’s garbage collection company since 2018 – announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing $31 million in debt. It was another in a myriad of challenges the company has faced since winning the city contract.

After much discussion, the city’s hands are largely tied; changes to the contract cannot be made as Red River goes through the bankruptcy process, unless it is approved by Red River or a third party. To this point, Red River has said it plans to honor its contract and continue service.

So for now, city officials are using one lever available to them: changing state code.

Indiana Code 36-9-30 “sets requirements for local governments to contract with private companies for the collection or disposal of solid waste and requires such contracts to be awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder.”

City officials are hopeful Fort Wayne state representatives will take up the issue during this session, with the city suggesting requests for proposals could be a more effective way for them to move forward in the future.

More details on the resolution will be presented during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting at 5:30 pm at Citizens Square.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.