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Norwalk Will Restart Trash Hauler Bid Process, Some Trash Haulers Cry Foul


By Brian Hews

The city of Norwalk will hold a special meeting tonight at City Hall beginning at 5 PM to restart the controversial trash hauler contract negotiations for the city.

The first process for negotiations did not go well with allegations of corruption and mismanagement surrounding the process.


Questions, Conflict of Interest Surround Norwalk Trash Contract Bid Process


The problems with the process were exacerbated after three new councilmembers were elected to City Council in March 2017.

But the City managed to narrow the companies to five in April 2017 and on August 3, an ad hoc committee presented its analysis of the five companies to the Council; at that meeting all proposals were rejected.

City documents for tonight’s meeting include “minimum service requirements,” while adding some revisions.

The contract will be set for eight years with a City option to extend two additional years.

The City also increased the franchise fee from 5% to 10%.

The trash rates will be frozen for the first two years and can be adjusted after that based on the consumer price index and fuel cost index.

The City is also asking all vehicles to be new and contain billboard capabilities that may be used to promote the City’s outreach efforts.



Under residential pick-up, the standard 96-gallon cart will be available, but now a 64-gallon and 32-gallon cart will be available on request.

New Requirements
The City is including new requirements, some of which will exclude some current trash hauling companies from the process.

Staff is recommending that the contract only add 30% to the revenues of the company.

That would exclude Commercial Waste Services and NASA Services from the bid process, Mario Beltran was reportedly representing NASA.


Former Bell Gardens Councilman Mario Beltran Surfaces in Trash Hauler Contract Bidding Process



To ensure transparency, staff is asking Council to consider a no contact/code of conduct protocol during the bid process.

Companies will also be required to disclose lobbyist and or consultants, as well as employees hired, for the purposes of promoting their proposal to city staff.

Staff is recommending the proposal draft in September 2017, released for bid October 2017, with bids due back to the city clerk 30 days later.

January or February 2018 the City Council will select a new trash hauler to start service September 2018.

“To restart the bid process is a joke,” said one trash hauling official who did not want to be identified since the process is starting up again, “legitimate companies are getting the short end, all bids are already out there via the first bid process, now that they are known bids, we are restarting the process, it is completely unfair and likely illegal.”