Cumberland County municipalities studying solid waste system

Request for proposals to be issued for options

AMHERST, N.S. – Cumberland County’s three municipal units are taking steps to ensure the region’s solid waste disposal system continues to deliver good service at favourable cost.

Amherst, the Municipality of Cumberland and Oxford are issuing a request for proposals to companies that may be interested in buying the waste disposal system that serves the region.

The RFP will include conditions to protect the environment, generate employment and deliver the lowest possible cost to residential and business property owners.

“As municipal leaders, we need to be good stewards of our environment and, where possible, we need to support business growth,” Oxford Mayor Trish Stewart said in a joint news release.

“By issuing this RFP we will find out whether our waste can be better managed while still protecting the environment and while securing business opportunities.” Cumberland County Warden Al Gillis noted.

In agreeing to the jointly sponsored RFP, the three municipalities have agreed on certain principles against which responses to the RFP will be measured. The RFP includes conditions a successful bidder would need to meet in the event the three councils conclude the interests of the residents can best be served by a different approach to waste disposal.

The guiding principles include: A favourable per unit cost for waste disposal, protecting current employment levels, transparency around any transitionary arrangements and continuing operations and optimizing the value of any assets sold as well as relieving taxpayers of any environmental liabilities, ensuring compliance with all laws and regulations protecting the environment and all three municipal councils must agree before agreements to divest assets are entered into

“We have not predetermined the outcome of this process,” said Amherst Mayor David Kogon “It could be that the outcome results in no changes. Or, maybe a private operator with solid waste expertise will see business growth opportunities not available to the municipalities. But, at the very least we will have canvassed others to see whether there are ideas worthy of consideration.”

The RFP will be issued on or before Monday with all responses to be received by July 22. The three municipalities anticipate it will take at least four weeks to review RFP responses.