City takes next step in revamping how Omaha's trash gets picked up


    The City of Omaha is looking for a new company to pick up people's garbage.

    Over the summer, Mayor Jean Stothert announced she would be looking for new contracts and wanted to know what people thought about the way trash is collected in the city.

    Right now, the city provides homes with green bins for recycling, and people have to provide their own bin or trash bags to be put out for collection.

    Wednesday, she announced the city is looking for bids for a new solid waste contract, which needs to be fully in place by 2021.

    Stothert said the new collection system needs to be modern, safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

    The city is requiring companies to use automated trucks and covered carts to pick up garbage, recyclables, and yard waste.

    Officials are asking the companies to provide the costs of three different options:

    1. 1. Three carts, one for garbage, yard waste, and recyclables. Garbage and yard waste collected separately every week-- Recyclables every other week.
    2. 2. Three carts, with mixed garbage and yard waste that would be collected every week in two carts, with recyclables collected every other week in one cart.
    3. 3. Two carts, one for garbage mixed with yard waste that would be collected every week and a second cart for recyclables that would be collected every other week.

    The city does point out that all the options get rid of the city's free yard waste collection, but officials say there will be new alternatives.

    It also says the current way the city collects yard waste costs about $4 million every year.

    The mayor says she expects the next contract to cost "substantially more", but that she does not want to raise taxes for it.

    A mandatory pre-bid will be due from companies by November 9. Full bids are due by January 30, 2019. Companies can submit a bid here.

    The city's current contract expires in 2020. It's with Waste Management which bought Deffenbaugh in 2014 (the company Omaha originally signed a contract with). Waste Management has been fined several times for complaints over missed and late collections.

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