Text Size   - | +

(November 19, 2019)

Firstar Fiber’s bid to process recyclable products for the City of Omaha will be rejected and the City will rebid the contract with different terms.

The City notified Firstar today of its intent to reject the $4 million dollar bid. The bid equates to $200/ton, double the amount the City expected and greater than Firstar’s retail rate for its other customers, $110/ton.  

In a letter to Firstar Fiber CEO Dale Gubbels, Public Works Director Bob Stubbe wrote, “the bid exceeds the City’s budgeted estimate for the work to be performed and is therefore, being rejected.”

In September, the City advertised a Request for Bids to award a new 5-year contract for processing that would respond to uncertainties in the recycling market, and still be affordable and fair to taxpayers. The contract would have replaced the current agreement with Firstar Fiber, which ends December 31, 2020. The new contract could have been implemented as early as January 1, 2020 if the City had received favorable bids. Firstar Fiber submitted the only bid.

Firstar Fiber has been under contract with the City since 2006. The initial contract (2006-2015) required Firstar to pay the City based on the volume of recycled material.  The second contract (2016-2020) required Firstar to continue those payments.  Due to the plummeting recycling market, the City and Firstar amended the contract, requiring for the first time, the City pay Firstar $25.92 per ton to process recyclables, the same fee paid to dispose of solid waste at the landfill.  Monthly payments to Firstar started in September 2019. 

“We recognize the changes in the recycling business require us to pay for processing, but this bid is excessively high and would require significant cuts in our 2020 budget,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

The processing contract is separate from the solid waste collection contract, recently awarded to FCC Environmental.  That contract includes $5.3 million for curbside recycling collection and takes effect January 1, 2021.

“We are committed to recycling, but we must have a fair price,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

The City currently collects approximately 17,000 tons of recyclables annually for delivery to Firstar Fiber for processing. Volume is expected to increase to 20,000 tons or more with the switch to the new solid waste collection system and covered carts.

A new Request for Bids will be developed with new terms, which will include input from industry experts, including a longer term contract. 

News and Information

  • Yard Waste Collection Limits Begin April 6

    2020-04-01 17:34:59

    (April 1, 2020) Planning for potential impact of COVID-19, the City of Omaha and Waste Management have agreed to limit yard waste collection to four cans or sacks per household. This limit in yard waste collection will ...

  • Douglas County Health Center Confirms Positive COVID-19 ...

    2020-03-29 23:00:30

    (March 29, 2020) - ​On March 28, 2020, Douglas County officials received confirmation that two long-term care residents of the Douglas County Health Center tested positive for COVID-19.   The residents who t ...

  • Governor Orders Temporary Halt to Some Evictions

    2020-03-26 15:34:03

    (March 25, 2020) -  Governor Pete Rickets issued an Executive Order Wednesday to suspend eviction hearings until May 31st for tenants are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by Covid-19.  The Go ...

  • Community Spread Prompts Closing Orders

    2020-03-19 03:44:10

    (March 18, 2020)  The City of Omaha and the Douglas County Health Department took additional, more restrictive measures Wednesday to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Mayor Jean Stothert signed a procl ...

  • City Libraries and Community Centers to Close

    2020-03-16 00:59:41

    (March 15, 2020) Omaha public libraries and community centers will close Monday March 16 until further notice. Mayor Jean Stothert made the decision following the first confirmed “community spread” case of COVID-19 ...

  • Douglas County Reports First Community Spread COVID-19 ...

    2020-03-15 02:19:48

    (March 14, 2020) The Douglas County Health Department reports the first local COVID-19 case caused by community spread. This individual is a woman in her 60s who was reported on Friday, March 13, as a travel-related c ...

  • Douglas County Reports Two Additional COVID-19 Cases

    2020-03-09 01:12:37

      (March 8, 2020) The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has received presumptive confirmation of two more COVID-19 cases related to the first case. These presumptive positive cases are family members of Nebr ...

  • City Prepared for COVID-19

    2020-03-07 22:25:46

    (March 7, 2020) Mayor Jean Stothert has directed City departments to update emergency preparedness plans to ensure that city services will continue in the event of a COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Stothert signed an Executiv ...

  • Street Bond Questions to be Answered at Town Hall Meeti ...

    2020-03-03 23:11:42

    (March 3, 2020) Mayor Jean Stothert will continue Town Hall meetings in March and April to present “A Roadmap to Better Streets”. Mayor Stothert recommended and the Omaha City Council unanimously approved placing a ...

  • Grant Applications Now Available

    2020-01-27 20:51:38

    (January 27, 2020) Omaha, NE- For the seventh year, Mayor Jean Stothert will award grants to neighborhood associations. A total of $75,000 is available for proposals that support and strengthen the quality of life, imp ...