Alaska Waste’s trash pickup contract moving forward despite competing bidder’s appeal

The seven year trash pickup contract for Alaska Waste appears to be moving forward, despite an appeal made by a competing contractor.

The competitor, Denali Disposal, was one of three bidders, including Alaska Waste. Alaska Waste submitted the lowest bid of the three and was awarded the contract in May. Denali Disposal later appealed the decision, citing issues with the way the contractors were evaluated.

That appeal was initially submitted to the borough Engineering and Facilities Director, who declined it. Denali then resubmitted their appeal to the next rung up the ladder, the Solid Waste Advisory Board. The board held its public hearing on the appeal on Tuesday and decided to decline it as well. Denali now has 30 days to decide if they would like to continue with the appeals process — the next step would be to file in superior court.

The borough hasn’t been given any indication about whether Denali plans to pursue a legal route or not.

Alaska Waste will be distributing new, bear-proof roll-carts to the community free of charge. (Photo by Kavitha George/KMXT)

In the meantime, things are moving forward with Alaska Waste’s contract. At last night’s Borough Assembly meeting, Mayor Dan Rohrer directed the City Manager Michael Powers to go ahead with the authorization of Alaska Waste’s contract.

Assemblymember Scott Arndt expressed frustration about the bidding process at last night’s meeting. He said the process was “flawed,” and lacked transparency, since neither assembly members nor the public were given a detailed breakdown of the three bids until this week. After the meeting he said that he chose to vote to award the contract to Alaska Waste back in May simply because he saw that it had the lowest overall monthly pick-up fee of the three bids.

Assuming there are no further roadblocks to the contract, borough residents should see their monthly trash pickup fees going down. Instead of charging different rates for differently sized roll-carts and dumpster service, Alaska Waste’s bid includes a flat $49.95 montly rate across the board.

During the May 3 Borough Assembly meeting, Alaska Waste Division Manager Mark Gingrich also said the company would be providing new, bear-resistant roll-carts to the parts of the community that don’t use dumpsters, and would be doing so at no cost to the borough or residents.

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