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In January, the City of North Bend formally requested that Republic Services provide customer billing credits and reimbursement for City expenses due to Republic’s extended time period without service in December, 2021 and January, 2022. The City maintains that Republic must provide credits to City customers, and additionally, that Republic must reimburse the City for incurred expenses to offset costs from this lack of service that is otherwise burdened to North Bend taxpayers.
Depending on location, North Bend residents experienced three to five weeks of extended missed solid waste service this winter. The City issued an emergency Health and Safety Order at that time, providing relief to its residents by using Public Works employees to perform solid waste operations and to retain a separate contractor to collect and haul away garbage.
Republic has since responded to the City’s demands to provide billing credits and City reimbursement, explaining that their interpretation of the contract is that they have no obligation to credit customers and/or reimburse the City for costs incurred during the extended break in service to residents and businesses.
The City’s current contract with Republic will end on March 31st, 2024. Now nearing the tail end of its nine-year agreement, the City is in the beginning stages of procuring a new solid waste collection contract. On March 1st, City Council unanimously approved Motion AB22-024, authorizing staff to work with consultant, Epicenter Services, to begin a competitive bidding process for the new solid waste contract.
City Administrator, David Miller commented, “This is the right time to reevaluate our community’s expectations in the way of solid waste removal.” Within the many contract provisions in our next solid waste contract, the City is including measures within the latitude we are allowed by law to ensure that service credits for failure to provide trash pickup according to the prearranged schedule are included, he said. “Our goal is to attract quality bids by offering a strong return on investment for our rate paying residents and businesses.”
The City will continue to provide community updates as they move forward in this procurement process.