Omaha seeks new deal with Firstar Recycling

New contract will give Firstar five years to repay money owed to the city.

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July 31, 2015
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal / IC&I Paper

The city of Omaha, Nebraska, is proposing extending a five-year contract to Firstar Recycling that will include a system by which Firstar can repay the city $170,000 it owes in back payments.

According to a report on Omaha.com, Firstar has been unable to make payments to the city (for recyclables received) since December 2014, and the new contract would give the company until 2020 to repay what is owed.

The report says Omaha’s mayoral administration and Firstar Recycling have outlined a tentative arrangement, though Mayor Jean Strother is still awaiting a more detailed repayment description from Firstar. The mayor tells Omaha.com that if a payment plan is put in place, she will recommend the agreement to the Omaha City Council.

Firstar says it has been unable to make its payments in 2015 because of “a significant drop in the national market for recycled materials, issues with aging equipment and increased labor costs,” according to the Omaha.com report.

Among the positive aspects to the agreement, according to both parties, is the absence of any interruption in recycling services.

Firstar has had the contract to process the city of Omaha’s recyclables since 2006, and the new contract would extend the relationship through 2020.

Despite the money it is owed, the city of Omaha calculates that it saves $400,000 per year by not landfilling the recyclable materials. The city also has receives from $400,000 to $900,000 each year from Firstar when secondary commodity markets are healthy, according to Omaha.com.