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Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities

Procurement Best Practices: Separate Contracts

Some communities separate procurements for trash collection, transfer and disposal services, recycling and composting collection and processing to increase competition and reduce conflicts of interest. Conducting separate procurements does not exclude service providers from proposing and being awarded multiple contracts.

Case Studies: Seattle, WA | Fresno, CA


  • Transparent costs: Costs of the various services are transparent to the public, generators and local government.
  • Increased competition: Increases competition among service providers and allows specialized service providers to compete.
  • Reduced conflicts of interest: Potential conflicts of interest are reduced if the landfill operator is different from recycling and/or organics contractors.


  • Loss of synergies: Loss of synergies and efficiencies from a combined collection and processing contract.
  • Market dependent: Depends on number and quality of facilities and markets available.
  • Local government staff workload: Adds complexity for the local government to manage multiple contracts.
  • Reduced hauler engagement: There can be significant value in having haulers also be processors because they are more motivated to educate the community and reduce contamination.