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March 8, 2016

Recycling Partnership accepts applications for 2016 Access Grant

The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, has released its latest request for proposal (RFP), which is intended to help counties, municipalities, tribes and solid waste authorities with 4,000 or more households upgrade to cart-based collection of recyclables.

The grants will provide funding for recycling carts, tailored educational materials and technical assistance from the Recycling Partnership’s staff. Successful applicants must provide comprehensive curbside recycling collection programs, meaning all homes that receive curbside garbage services must receive a recycling cart to be eligible for this grant. Additional details and eligibility requirements can be found in the RFP.

Potential applicants may email questions to the Recycling Partnership’s Project Director Karen Bandhauer at kbandhauer@ recyclingpartnership.org by March 31, 2016, at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Final proposals must be received electronically by 5 p.m. Eastern time April 15, 2016.

Additional details on the grants are available in the RFP, http://goo.gl/xgRxPd, and Proposal Application Form, http://bit.ly/1SbVonk.

Alabama city in negotiations to reclaim shuttered mixed-waste processing facility

A shuttered mixed-waste processing facility in Montgomery, Alabama, could reopen by summer, the city’s Mayor Todd Strange says.

An article in the Montgomery Advertiser notes the city has started the foreclosure process on the center. An auction scheduled for Feb. 17, 2016, was postponeed, with Strange saying city officials are negotiating with the facility owners to avoid the action through an “amicable transfer of title.”

The owner of the Infinitus Renewable Energy Park (IREP), Plantation, Florida-based Infinitus Energy, closed the facility in October 2015.

Strange says that if a title transfer of the property can occur at minimal cost, the city would be able to issue a request for proposal to find a facility operator.

Appeals court rules Indiana violated competitive bidding laws

In a Feb. 24 decision, the Court of Appeals of Indiana decided the city of Indianapolis violated competitive bidding laws when it awarded a long-term recycling contract to Covanta in 2014.

The appeals case was filed by Graphic Packaging International, Rock-Tenn Converting Co. (now WestRock) and resident Cathy Weinmann. The defendants were the city of Indianapolis and city of Indianapolis Public Works.

The decision reversed a lower court ruling that favored the defendants and ordered the Marion Superior Court to void the deal Indianapolis made with Morristown, New Jersey-based Covanta to build a $45 million recycling facility that would process mixed waste next door to its waste-to-energy facility.

According to the court’s 19-page decision, “By including provisions related to the design, construction and maintenance of this new facility, the amendment fell under the purview of section 4 of the Waste Disposal Statute, which requires among other things, public bidding and public participation in the process. That did not occur. Therefore the contract is void for failing to comply with the statute.”

Just two weeks earlier, on Feb. 10, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the city of Indianapolis and Covanta Indianapolis Inc. had reached an agreement to temporarily suspend a proposed “advanced recycling center” (ARC). The facility was to be located on Morristown, New Jersey-based Covanta’s Indianapolis campus.

“Leadership begins with listening, and I believe Indianapolis deserves a true community conversation before we move forward with any waste and recycling plan,” Hogsett said when the agreement with Covanta was announced Feb. 10. “I appreciate Covanta’s willingness to agree to this effort as we work toward a long-term solution that best serves our neighborhoods and our environment.”

In earlier statements about the project, Covanta claimed the new mixed-waste processing facility would have increased the amount of material recycled in Indianapolis by up to 500 percent at no cost to the city or to its residents.