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[greenyes] Mayor of Boulder supports Eureka in their fight in Minneapolis


Hi all,

I thought you'd like to read the letter that our mayor wrote to the
mayor of Minneapolis in support of the amazing nonprofit group named
Eureka who is in danger of losing a local recycling bid to the
multinational trash haulers. The whole issue of how cities write their
bids for recycling services is a problem, and in 1998 Eco-Cycle almost
lost our local contract to a waste hauler even though our bid was lower
and our experience MUCH deeper. We fought like a tiger, and won, and as
you can see, our local mayor is happy that we did. I am SURE that the
mayor of Minneapolis, and the city staff, will be much happier with
Eureka as their service provider, and the community will be served at a
much higher level than the "limited scope" bidding process even
imagined.

So, if any of you haven't let the city leaders in Minneapolis know how
you feel about this issue, please do. The fight is still on !!

Eric from Eco-Cycle

(Letter from Mayor of Boulder, Colorado)

Dear Mayor Rybak:

I have been following the debate on the recycling contract for the City
of Minneapolis from afar. Boulder went through a similar debate 5 years
ago, when we needed to choose a vendor to operate the new facilities for
the Boulder County Recycling and Composting Authority. While I am sure
there are many differences in detail, the overall context seems similar,
so I'd like to offer you some observations from our experience.

We had bids from Ecocycle, a local nonprofit recycler which is quite
similar to Eureka Recycling; Western Disposal, our large local trash
hauler, and a couple of proposals involving national trash haulers. The
evaluation of the bids, and their consideration by the Authority, was
very controversial. Ecocycle had the lowest cost bid for building and
operating the facility. However, the staff analysis favored Western
Disposal, as staff believed that the Western bid included a better
facility, and believed that Western would be more able to back up their
bid financially.

Ultimately, the Authority made the decision to do a design/build
contract for construction of the facility, and to contract with Ecocycle
for the operation. We have been very pleased with the results. Ecocycle
has been able to operate the facility at a very competitive cost;
perhaps even more important, they are plowing all of the margin they
make into expanded recycling and waste diversion opportunities for our
citizens. I am sure that the private haulers could have done a competent
job running the facility; I am equally sure that they would not be
pushing the envelope to bring us a center for hard to recycle materials,
new food waste composting initiatives, the zero waste institute, or
other innovations which help meet city environmental goals, and are
warmly embraced by our residents. Instead, their profit margin would go
into the pockets of their shareholders.

I would urge you to consider this decision very carefully, and to
recognize all of the value that a community based nonprofit recycler can
provide to your community.

Sincerely Yours,
Will Toor
Mayor, Boulder, Colorado


Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle, Inc
Boulder, CO
303-444-6634
www.ecocycle.org
"Recycling may not save the world, but the recycling spirit might."


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