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[greenyes] Re: New York City recommits to recycling!

The article correctly points out that this is a major boon to the recycling movement in New York City, reflecting things that many recycling advocates have been promoting for years. The city deserves high praise for making a long-term investment in its recycling program.

Yet as good as this deal sounds, it could have been even better. Sanitation structured the contract in a way that basically shut out everyone but the biggest players. Had they written the RFP differently, more firms could have competed, possibly resulting in an even better deal. The team I participated in proposed a price substantially better than Hugo Neu's winning bid, meaning Sanitation will be spending tens of millions of dollars more over the life of the contract than they needed to. That's a lot of money that could have been spent on more public outreach, recycling business development, public space recycling, or lobbying for state and federal legislation designed to promote takeback laws or product recyclability rules.

My bottom line is that if you're going to point to NYC as a success story, be sure that you talk to some of the advocates here who have ideas on how the RFP could have been structured so it resulted in even more positive outcomes. Over the next week, I'll try to round up a few of these ideas to share with everyone on the list.

Steve Hammer
Mesacosa LLC

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