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Bidders must resubmit recycling contracts

Companies that worked hard to submit bids for a Government recycling collection contract were told to do it again because they were at first told to provide a copy of a licence that was not needed.

A request for quotations issued by the Ministry of Public Works in December mistakenly advised that firms needed a waste transportation licence to carry out the work.

However, the tender was cancelled due to a “substantial change” in the job requirements and a revised notice was published on the online government portal last month.

A spokeswoman said that the public works ministry wanted to recruit a company to carry out recycling collection services across the island.

She added: “The ministry can also confirm that an earlier advertisement seeking vendors for the service was cancelled due to an error requirement in the notice to have a waste hauler licence.

“This was an internal oversight, rendering the previous submissions void. The ministry apologised for any inconvenience caused.”

The successful bidder will be expected to uplift reusable items from homes, as well as from public docks, schools, government institutions and about 80 bus stop bins.

Companies were told that the Government wanted to promote recycling and was “actively considering mandating recycling”, which meant that the volumes for collection could increase sooner than expected.

The original tender had a submission deadline of January 15 but a notice added later was dated February 18.

It said: “The request for quotations for recyclable materials collection has been cancelled in its entirety without award due to a substantial change in the specifications.

“The Government of Bermuda appreciates and understands firms went through great effort in preparing a response for the above mentioned RFQ.

“Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The new tender excluded the stipulation to include a copy of a licence to “engage in the business of transporting waste under the Waste and Litter Control Amendment Act 2011”.

But both notices pointed out that copies of licence and registration documents for every vehicle to be used for the work would be required.

The revised RFQ, which was issued on February 27 with a deadline of last Friday, said that payment for each four-week period would be calculated by combining two tallies linked to a pay schedule, rather than the four figures specified in the original notice.

It also explained that collection would take place at the Tynes Bay facility three times a week — a detail that had been “inadvertently excluded”.

Both notices said the average weight of recyclable materials set out each week was about 18 to 20 tonnes but the volume could increase to up to 65 tonnes by the third year of the contract.

Bidders were warned the figures depended on participation rates and whether the contractor was successful in selling its services to the commercial sector, which was an option open as long as the ministry was advised and it did not incur extra cost to the Government.

The RFQs added that the Government was looking at the introduction of wheelie bins or crates for residents to dispose of reusable materials.

Waste will be taken to the material recovery centre at the Government Quarry in Hamilton Parish.

The Government website said that blue recycling bags were taken to the centre, sorted and then shipped to the US to be converted into new consumer goods.

The spokeswoman added: “Over the past 17 months, the Ministry of Public Works has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring an effective and efficient waste management service — this includes making Bermuda’s recycling programme a priority.”