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FCC Environmental poised to secure mixed waste MRF contract in California as California adapts its organics law

FCC Environmental poised to secure mixed waste MRF contract in California as California adapts its organics law

FCC Environmental poised to win mixed waste MRF contract as California adapts to organics law

California’s landmark universal organics recycling law is now in effect. The waste authority for one of California’s northern counties has chosen a company with European roots to take over its post-collection operations. FCC Environmental Services is now able to enter the market, marking a significant milestone in a long-running procurement process that involved several key players in California’s waste industry.

The Western Placer Waste Management Authority board (WPWMA). Recently votedFCC will initiate formal contract negotiations with the U.S. subsidiary a European company that has operations in more than 30 countries. This will allow for the operation of its landfill, composting sites, MRF (including an estimated $110.7million retrofit) as well as other facilities. The project is designed to comply with SB 1383A newly-enacted state law that will require jurisdictions achieve 75% landfill diversion for selected organic materials by 2025.

The law has prompted contract negotiations to be reopened and createdFinancial opportunities for waste and recycle providers across the state. WPWMA’s setup is seen by some as an anomaly, but others see it as part of a complex debate about the best collection methods and processing techniques to meet California’s SB1383 targets.

WPWMA’s mixed-waste operations, which provide services for unincorporated Placer County as well as the cities of Lincoln, are part of WPWMA. RocklinAnd Roseville,California has a relatively low number of such jurisdictions. Most jurisdictions will comply with SB 1383 by operating three cart, source-separated collection programmes. However, local governments in Placer County collect a lot of putrescible and recyclable waste. “one big bin,”Yard waste should be handled separately.

Ratepayer costs were a top factor during the contract process, as the county has kept them relatively low over the years.While one bidder with extensive operations in Northern California,GreenWaste,outscored FCCFCC was awarded a higher overall score on experience and facility design. This is based on financial qualifications, design presentation, and cost. GreenWaste submitted a lower price bid, partly driven by It expects to have greater access capitalFrom its pending sale Macquarie Infrastructure Partners FCC Still had the overall cost advantageThe combined MRF and landfill bids of the two companies.

Annual Facility Cost Estimates FCC GreenWaste (revised bidding)
MRF Processing Fees $24,942,506 $27,658,229
HHW Facility $476,487 $424,700
Annualized Capital Cost* $9,109,454 $11,144,358
Landfill Operating Cost $2,511,231 $6,663,499
Total annualized cost $37,039,677 $45,890,786
*based on 15-year time frame

FCC Vice President for Operations Dan Brazil stated that the FCC was focused on making the facility the most advanced in North America, at the Nov. 29 meeting.

Recently, the company reiterated its belief that the facility is a launching point for future U.S. opportunities.

“We see it as a strategic contract for the company because we have a lot more experience and knowledge than any other company operating similar facilities around the world. Brazil sent an email in December saying that they believe the award will position them as a major player in these types of processing facilities.

GreenWaste sees things differently.In lettersWPWMA shared this information with them upon request. During the Nov. 29, meeting, GreenWaste repeatedly stated that FCC’s proposal was not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of SB1383 or other industry standards. GreenWaste also suggested three mixed-waste lines, compared to FCC’s 2.

Greg Ryan, GreenWaste’s manager in the local operations and CEO at affiliated Zanker Recycling said that his company was disappointed with the outcome.

“While we know that cost is a key factor in any contract decision,” said the company. Their cost proposal was in line the current industry rates as well as the three unsuccessful bidders. Our demonstrated experience is unmatched. [WPWMA]GreenWaste was confident that the operational superiority and staff of the proposal would have led to a different outcome had they not been contracted with R3 Consulting.

R3 was hired by the authority for assistance in the procurement process. GreenWaste says that R3 wasn’t involved with the final round design submissions. The two finalists were chosen last fall. WPWMA Executive director Ken Grehm replied that he could not speak to the details of R3 involvement but noted that they weren’t there “to make the decision.”

Republic Services (for landfill contract), Mustang Renewable Power Ventures and current operator Nortech Waste were other bidders. WPWMA rejected Ecohub’s response to the RFP as it did not meet its requirements.

The fact that Nortech, a Recology-affiliated joint enterprise that has managed the MRF since its inception, didn’t make it to the cut is “a shock for many people, I think” Grehm stated last June after the authority named the two finalists.

“They have been a great partner for a very long time. They aren’t unhappy with us, but the landscape changes, and people must be able to adapt to change and pivot, he stated.

After the June expiration of its WPWMA agreement, Nortech is not known for having any other contracts. The company declined to comment on May 31, and did not respond to a request to comment further.

Vineyard in Placer County California

The imageMissvain is licensed as CC BY 4.0

Evolution of a new facility

Placer County is one of many California jurisdictions that are looking at ways to modify their operations in order to comply with SB1383. However, certain characteristics of the county as well as its existing waste facilities merit a closer inspection.

The estimated population is 405,000. It stretches northeast from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and was designated as the State’s fastest-growing countyBetween 2010 and 2020. As this trend continues,Overall waste volumesThe potential for growth could increase from 386,000 tons in 2018 up to almost 600,000 tons by 2030. While some areas of the county are still rural, there are other areas that are seeing more housing and commercial development. There is a casino with a large amphitheater outside and some of these are located close to WPWMA’s operations.

DiscussionsHow and when to expand the Western Regional Sanitary Landfill The county’s last active landfillThe state is trying to reduce landfill disposal. The MRF has an estimated diversion rate between 40% and 45%. However, to meet the requirements of SB 1383 for mixed waste operations, it must reach a minimum of 50% this year, 75% in 2025. FCC’s proposal includes a guaranteed MSW diverting rate of 60% and an Expected overall diversion rate of 80%.

According to industry professionals who spoke about SB 1383, this mixed waste approach is not common in California. However, Placer County has a history that it has chosen its own path.

Origins of the MRF date back to another landmark state legislationAB 939, which required 50% recycling by 2000, sparked a wave in curbside recycling programs. WPWMA tried a different approach by partnering with Nortech, a three-way partnership of Recology and Sexton Resources, to create a mixed waste facility. It opened in 1995. An ObituaryWayne Trewhitt, the CEO of Nortech, was the architect of the facility and he called it “the most successful of its type in the United States.”

Later, the facility went through a $26 Million UpgradeThe upgrade boosted Nortech’s recovery capabilities and increased its processing capacity to more that 2,000 tons per hour. It was also tied in with the 2005 awarding of a new operating agreement. Based on its extensive experience, Nortech beat GreenWaste, a newer company. This result was described by GreenWaste as ironic, given the outcome of this latest contract process.

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