The city of Jackson has issued yet another request for proposal for a new solid waste collection contract despite an ongoing lawsuit with its current trash pickup operator.
City leaders approved a one-year emergency contract with Richard’s Disposal in April after going 18 days without any garbage collection across the city.
Since then, city council members have repeatedly voiced concerns about repeating the same pattern after the 12-month contract’s expiration, leading some Jackson officials to call for Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to issue a new RFP months in advance.
At this time, the RFP requires contractors to submit a proposal for trash collection rates by December 18, with the city including several parameters in the 81-page document that are contingent on the continuing lawsuit with Richard’s.
The New Orleans-based company filed the lawsuit days before being awarded the emergency contract, arguing that it was not given a rightful bid for a long-term agreement by the city council.
Richard’s Disposal also accused council members of attempting to force Lumumba to choose another trash collection company despite presenting the lowest bid in the first RFP issued in October 2021.
Now, Jackson officials are attempting to begin the RFP process once again to select a long-term contractor, with the official time of service spanning from April 1, 2024, to September 30, 2030. After that, the city would then be able to make up to four one-year extensions to the contract.
According to the RFP, the following criteria will be considered in the new process:
- Technical proposal – 15 percent of proposal score
- Minority participation in the contract – 5 percent of proposal score
- Fee proposal – 80 percent of proposal score
Additional stipulations in the RFP include the elimination of blind evaluations and that Lumumba has the ability to reject any proposal after the submission deadline. The selected contract could also be terminated at any point depending on the court’s decision on the lawsuit with Richard’s Disposal.
“Any contract entered into pursuant to this current RFP shall be subject to the decision of the court in the pending appeal and the decision of an appeal of that decision, if any,” the RFP stated. “Consequently, the city reserves the right to terminate any contract entered into pursuant to this current RFP, if so required by the final decision of the court or courts hearing the appeal, or if, as a result of a court’s decision, termination is determined to be in the best interest of the city.”