City re-opens process to find new recycling company after questions raised

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Houston's recycling plan takes a step back after questions about how the original company was selected. (KTRK)

The city of Houston will take a step back on its search for a new recycling vendor, the mayor announced Friday.

"After visiting with members of City Council about our effort to choose a curbside recycling company to handle Houston's needs, I have decided to re-open the process for the four companies that advanced to the interview stage," Turner said in a written statement.

RELATED: Council members delay passage of recycling deal amid questions

The city will allow FCC, Republic Services, Waste Management and Independent Texas Recyclers to present a new "final offer" to the city. The terms and price of the deal can be negotiated, Turner's communication director Alan Bernstein said.

The mayor hopes the process will be underway in the next two weeks.

"This action is designed to put to rest the concerns raised by members of council, which must approve the contract before it takes effect."

The $48 million deal was originally awarded to FCC and was a vote away from being completed Wednesday.
The 15-year deal was set to be voted on by the council but was held back after a contentious discussion between council members and the mayor, who supports the deal.

"It smells, it stinks, it's rotten," council member Dave Martin said Wednesday.

RELATED: Council members: "Lets start over" on recycling contract

Martin was one of several council members who questioned how FCC was selected, asking about a scoring matrix that Martin said didn't make sense.

Waste Management told ABC13 Investigates, the company hopes the city will narrow the focus of the proposals and clear up some of the questions asked at City Hall. "Given the frustration and confusion earlier this week ... this was the best possible outcome to end the week. We look forward to it."

Winning bidder FCC Environmental did not reply to our request for comment.

Independent Texas Recyclers similarly denied comment.

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Ted Oberg Investigateshouston city councilrecyclinghouston politicsHouston
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