Delray Beach’s Garbage Contract Fiasco Stinks to High Heaven

Delray Beach has been making questionable moves over the last few years that make old-timers and new-timers suspicious. The latest is the uncertain garbage contract negotiations the city has been making that may violate the city charter. To those who live in Delray Beach, it is no surprise that the commission is accused of directing city staff again and spearheading this garbage contract. The latest is regarding a (Request For Proposal) RFP fiasco.

Sources say Mayor Shelly Petrolia has problems with the current company contracted by the city, Waste Management, and wants another company, Coastal Waste & Recycling, to get the contract. Petrolia has been accused of directing city staff in the past, a city charter no-no, but it is unclear who on the city commission has spearheaded the effort to get the current company out and bring in another company.

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In an email from the city on 11/28/22, Waste Management was notified of the city’s intent to award them the contract-the intent email was canceled the next day, 11/29/22. Further staff evaluations on 11/30, 12/20, and 1/3 all show WM ranked number one. Then at the direction of the city commission, but not by public vote, the addition of a best and final offer was due 1/6 but was not part of the RFP process.

Notice of intent to award contract 11/28/2022

Cancellation 11/29/2022

Why does the commission want to work hard to ensure another company gets this contract? What’s the reason?

Many have sued the city, and now it looks like they could end up with another lawsuit. Waste Management has been ranked number one three times by two city senior staff selection committees over Coastal Waste & Recycling.

According to a letter to the city by Waste Management;
During the current five-month RFP process, WM’s pricing in the RFP was far lower:  $3.3 million less annually for Delray’s residents and businesses for a $23.1 million savings over the seven-year life of the contract.
The city then went outside the RFP process and required both companies to present a “Best and Final Offer publicly” (BAFO), giving Coastal Waste & Recycling another “bite at the apple” after its inflated pricing during the RFP process.
On Friday, the city opened the offers, and Coastal dropped its pricing more than 30% after seeing WM’s numbers and came in at $18.32 monthly per home (after initially proposing $30+) with WM at $19.49. 

Coastal went from $3.3 million more than WM annually to $1 million less, quite a swing once they knew Waste Management’s pricing as the current provider.

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This would counter the RFP process and result in an unfair procurement. Directing city staff is against the city charter. It would expose the city to potential legal action, something Delray Beach and the commission don’t need. There is an upcoming election in March. Commissioner Juli Casale has been trying to show the residents that she is a responsible and honest steward of taxpayer dollars. The commission needs to do the right thing and renew Waste Management’s contract instead of wasting more money and resources on lawsuits.

An RFP is supposed to be a blind process. It’s one shot in a sealed envelope. The city should be getting the best and final offer. It’s unethical to show other bidders the offers. It’s cheating. It defeats the purpose of an RFP.

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Doing this sends the message that anyone who makes a bid in the city should go higher than their final and best offer because they’ll get another chance to bid lower. In the long run, Delray Beach will end up spending millions of additional dollars on contracted services by undermining the RFP system. Why would the commission do this to Delray Beach?

On Tuesday, January 10th, at 3:15 PM, a special city commission meeting will decide on the contract. If Waste Management’s contract does not go through, the commission will have much to explain.

As Delray Beach resident Chuck Halberg stated on social media;

If this is all true, why would anyone continue to bid work for the city? Similar scenarios have happened numerous times under the leadership of Mayor Petrolia and Commissioner Casale.

This is a call to action, residents of Delray Beach. Make sure your voice is heard and let the commission know that Waste Management’s renewal is best for the city. 

Mayor Shelly Petrolia
[email protected]

Vice-Mayor Adam Frankel
[email protected]

Deputy Vice-Mayor Juli Casale
[email protected]

Commissioner Shirley Johnson
[email protected]

Commissioner Ryan Boylston
[email protected]

Delray Beach commission meeting will be held Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 3:15 PM to discuss the garbage contract. Speak up for Waste Management and come out smelling like a rose.

Full Disclosure: Tracy Caruso challenged Shelly Petrolia for Mayor in 2021.

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