NORA drafting request for proposals

The Northwest Recycling Association is awaiting a finalized request for proposals in hopes of finding a company to take over its recycling services before the end of the month.
“We’re hopeful we can have something to look at by the end of the week,” said NORA chair Dennis Brown, who also is mayor of Atikokan.
Last week, NORA manager Keith Sveinson submitted a rough draft of the request for proposals to a committee, which includes Fort Frances CAO Bill Naturkach.
The committee is now checking it over to see if the request is properly worded.
Naturkach said he wasn’t sure exactly when the revised request would be returned to Sveinson but when it is, he then will present it to the NORA board for approval.
“Hopefully, we can get the request out as soon as possible, and then meet in February with some quotes to look at,” said Brown.
The request for proposals is intended to land NORA the best possible service for the most reasonable price.
“When these go out, quotes will come in that consider continuing service at the [recycling] plant in Dryden and ones that consider going elsewhere,” Brown noted.
In the meantime, he said NORA has considered cost-saving alternatives in its recycling practices.
“For example, five percent of the plastics we pick up have no value. We could cut back and stop picking up that type of plastic,” Brown explained.
As first reported in the Times last month, NORA raised its per capita fee from $10 to $17 effective Jan. 1, resulting in negative feedback from some area municipalities.
Thus any decision NORA makes in the short-term will be crucial to maintaining its customers, Brown stressed.
“The increase has caused some municipalities to give us notice that they may pull out,” he admitted, citing Kenora and now Alberton and Sioux Lookout.
“But we were talking with some Sioux Lookout residents and they said, ‘It all depends on what kind of deal you can get.’ Nothing’s carved in stone yet,” added Brown.
NORA initially had decided in late October to hand over its recycling operations to Recool of Thunder Bay in the wake of growing financial woes, including a $500,000 price tag to refurbish its Dryden-based plant, an aging fleet of trucks, an inefficient system, a $450,000 debt, and a weakening economy.
But that deal later was pulled from the table so a more formal request for proposals could be drafted, with the current “blue box” program to continue as is until at least June.