Solid Waste

You talked trash, we listened: Changes are coming to solid waste January 16, 2023

Sugar Land City Council has approved a new solid waste contract that will extend the City’s partnership with Republic Services to provide residents and businesses in the area with unparalleled solid waste, green waste, bulky waste, and recycling services.  

This contract goes into effect January 16, 2023 and will include the addition of new technologies, more efficient solid waste routes, and a quicker way for residents to get in touch with Republic for on-call services and missed pickups. Additionally, the new contract will take rates from $20 per month to $19.85, providing our residents with enhanced service for a lower rate.  

The contract process, which started in June 2021, was coordinated by Georgia Tate, the City’s Environmental Manager. 

“Solid waste is one of those core services that touches every single household and every single business in Sugar Land,” Tate said. “It’s been a marathon project full of public consideration and feedback. We’re ready to roll the updated services out to Sugar Land.” 

How did we select Republic as our vendor? 

The Solid Waste Task Force, a resident group appointed by Sugar Land City Manager Michael W. Goodrum, helped develop recommendations for the future of solid waste and recycling in Sugar Land based off survey results from Sugar Land residents and business owners. The 17-member task force discussed many elements of solid waste and recycling, including the City’s current level of service, possible service modifications for the future, and different options related to customer service, educational outreach, financial acceptability, and environmental protection. 

  

Based off these factors, the Solid Waste Task force made service level recommendations to City Council. Recommendations included maintaining some of the existing service levels and exploring new options for other services and future programs. Additional recommendations for vendors included goals of customer satisfaction to provide reliable trash and recycling services, educational outreach to residents and businesses in waste reduction and recycling programs, continually seeking environmental protection opportunities, and providing the highest quality and level of service for a financially acceptable amount.  

Three vendors submitted qualifying proposals within these recommendations: Frontier Waste Solutions, Green for Life, and Republic Services. The three proposals were judged on: 

  • Qualifications and service capabilities, 
  • Compliance and clarity of proposal, 
  • Customer satisfaction, 
  • Educational outreach, 
  • Environmental protection, and  
  • Competitive cost of proposal. 

“Each hauler has different strengths and the scoring for their proposals reflects that,” Tate said. “City staff presented a detailed scoring breakdown to City Council and they directed us to move forward with the highest scoring hauler.” 

The City then entered contract negotiations with Republic Services for a new 10-year, multi-million dollar contract with renewed expectations from the City.  

“While we have had Republic Services as our solid waste partner for the last 10 years, it’s important to revisit and enhance the contractual requirements and expectations to maintain the ongoing partnership,” Tate said. 

What changes can residents expect with the new contract? 

Residents and business owners can expect a variety of changes January 16. The first? A change in service days so waste collection can be done quickly and efficiently.  

“We’re working with Republic Services to optimize the routes a little bit,” Tate said. “We want to get routes completed more efficiently and get those trucks out of the neighborhoods as early in the day as possible, preferably before families get home from work and school.” 

Bulky waste will now be on-call, further simplifying the service days. Every resident will have 12 bulky waste collections to schedule at their convenience, plus an additional three during the holiday season.  

“The feedback that we got from the residents on bulky waste was somewhat divided,” Tate said. “Some wanted less bulk waste days, others wanted more. Some wanted increased limits, some wanted decreased limits. The on-call bulky waste option provides a concierge service that can meet the diverse needs of our community.” 

But, don’t forget: bulky waste days don’t roll over every year. Residents must use the 12 collections they’re allotted, or they will lose them. If more than 12 are needed, additional collections can be scheduled for a fee.  

There’s also a new service available where residents can load up their vehicles and go to the landfill free of charge. Each Sugar Land household will be able to drop off 3 cubic yards once per month. With the on-call bulky waste collections, holiday bulky waste collections, and new landfill drop off options, residents are receiving 27 bulky waste disposal opportunities that are built into their monthly rate. 

“The landfill access is a new service for our community,” Tate said. “We’re excited to give residents as many bulky waste disposal opportunities as possible.” 

Additional changes on the horizon include: 

  • Green waste — if you or your contractor bags your green waste, it will need to be in a clear bag. The City recycles green waste into mulch, and clear bags allow the contractor to be sure that your green waste isn’t contaminated with trash. Clear bags are also required during emergency events for the City to be eligible for federal reimbursement!
  • Carts – Residents currently have the choice between a 95-gallon, 65-gallon, or 35-gallon cart. Starting in January, the 35-gallon carts will only be available to residents that need cart assistance or whose home warrants a smaller cart. 
  • Customer service – If there is a missed pickup in your area, contact Republic first via phone, email, their website, or their new app. The Republic app will be upgraded next year to include a built-in “Track My Truck” for an easier way of following the progress on your route. Residents will also be able to schedule pick-ups through the app and have reminders set to remind them to set out their carts before service. 
  • All these changes go into effect January 16, 2023.  

“The commercial and residential solid waste contract is more than a legal agreement – it’s a true community-wide partnership that focuses on customer service, environmental protection, educational outreach, and financial acceptability,” Tate said. “Every decision that’s been made, every service change that’s been included, every single element that has been revised and refined has been considered alongside the preferences and expectations of our residents and commercial businesses.”  

Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/ChangeisComing to take a look at all the changes happening on January 16, 2023.

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