The City Council has spent considerable time lately on recycling, but Tuesday, Aug. 20, the contents of the green can, not the brown can, is on the agenda.

Looking at the agenda packet, you would think that Hilco Transport Inc. received the three-year contract for $2.3 million a year to transport Greensboro’s garbage based solely on the fact that Hilco had minority participation.

It turns out that isn’t true, but since the only factor the Greensboro City Council seems concerned about in awarding contracts is the Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program, the MWBE participation information was evidently thought to be sufficient information for city councilmembers.

It’s a contract that has been fairly controversial in the past and one the city can’t do without. Greensboro collects garbage from residents, and the city garbage trucks take it to the transfer station where it is loaded on tractor-trailers and hauled to the Randolph County landfill. This contract is for hauling that garbage from the transfer station to the landfill.

Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick said in this case, Hilco had the lowest price, but it was a request for proposals and not a contract put out for bids so the city did not have to accept the lowest price.

Hilco was the only company that included a MWBE subcontractor in its proposal. The other two companies were eliminated, not because they did not have MWBE participation, but because they didn’t complete the required MWBE portion of their proposals.

Wyrick said that there was a mandatory pre-bid meeting and the companies were informed that the MWBE portion of the proposal was required. In a case like the municipal solid waste hauling contract where no subcontractors were required, Wyrick said all the companies had to do was fill out an affidavit stating that no subcontractors would be used, but neither of the other two bidders included the required affidavit in their proposals,

In effect, the city only received one responsive proposal to the request for proposals and that was Hilco, a proposal that included 10 percent MWBE participation, and that MWBE participation is what is included in the City Council’s agenda packet.