Lincoln County is developing a request for proposal plan for private companies to do the solid waste services since Recology sold out to the county.

At present, Western Elite is doing the hauling, but that is only through the remainder of this year, and the company is welcome to submit a bid along with any others.

At the regular county commission meeting this week, board members decided upon what scope of work they wanted to have included in the proposal.

County Building and Planning Director Cory Lytle presented a list of six options for commissioners to consider, broken down into six separate tasks, but each option differed in ways from the others.

After much discussion, the board decided on three options to be included. Bid package for solid waste services are to be prepared in such a manner that allows bidders to choose one or more of the options.

In each of the three options, the county controls the Crestline landfill, but Western Elite will operate it.

Lytle summarized the three options as allowing companies to bid on hauling in the north or south of the county, or both.

In two of the options, the county controls the billing, collection and maintains the bin sites, and the other option, there is private billing, collection and maintenance of bin sites.

He said, “There are different considerations on whether the county is going to operate the landfill or whether we will contract it out to a private business.”

Also commissioners decided they wanted a four-year contract with an option for automatic renewal,

Lytle said county solid waste and business license ordinances for quality control need to be revised to include some of these new ideas.

An important factor for the solid waste hauling is trying to make sure that everybody is on the same scale. “Everybody pays and everybody helps out. As long as everybody carries their weight, we will be able to keep rates low and still provide the service.”

Lytle also questioned, “Is the operator of the landfill going to do cleanup of the transfer stations, or is the county going to get letters of complaint from the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? It is a burden on the county to enforce quality control at the landfill and the transfer stations.”

Commissioner Paul Mathews suggested the board as a whole needs to also know “what the costs would be if we did this ourselves? We need to know if anybody’s proposal would really be any cheaper from our own?”

He added, “We have to start over with a new set of figures from what we had just a few months ago. Recology was charging us $160 a ton at Crestline. Western Elite only charges about $37 a ton at their Apex landfill. What is the new number that includes the $20,000 annual pay back on the landfill and post closure costs?”

Lytle said he expected to have a draft bid packages ready for review by mid-October with hopes for final action by the commissioners in early December.