Bids To Go Out for Hillsborough Trash Pickup

TAMPA (2011-12-14) -

Hillsborough County Commissioners today voted to allow competitive bids for the county's trash pickup. It would be the first bidding allowed in 16 years.

County commissioners had first proposed just renegotiating with the three haulers who have disposed of the county's trash since the late 1990's. Several commissioners say that there's been few problems, and the haulers had a high satisfaction rate in surveys.

But others - including most of the people who filled the county commission chambers for a workshop - told board members that competitive bidding is a way of life for most government agencies. One of those was Tampa resident Willie Lawson.

"Transparency and openness," Lawson told board members. "If this process isn't either of those - if it isn't open, the integrity is lost."
Commissioners listened, and voted to allow bids that could be worth $60 million in their first year. Chairman Ken Hagan had originally wanted to keep the existing haulers as a way to guarantee a low price, but says he changed his mind after listening to the public.

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