FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A bill that would allow cities to contract trash collection by new means has cleared the Indiana House.

Rep. Martin Carbaugh’s House Bill 1286 would authorize a town or a city – other than Indianapolis – to enter into a contract for the collection and disposal of solid waste through a request for proposals process instead of an invitation for bids process.

The bill was born after the city of Fort Wayne’s troubled contract with Red River Waste Solutions, the low-bidder for the city’s trash and recycling collection contract in 2017. State law currently requires municipalities to award contracts to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder.

Since it took over in 2018, Red River, though, has struggled with thousands of complaints about missed collections.

Fort Wayne officials have argued that moving to a “request for proposal” process rather than bidding out contracts would allow more creative and custom solutions.

After the Indiana House vote of 86-4, the Indiana Senate must now decide if that’s sensible. Sen. Justin Busch will be the lead sponsor for the bill on the Senate side.

The city of Fort Wayne issued this statement after the House vote Tuesday:

“You may recall the bill would allow for changes to the solid waste bidding process so that municipalities would be able to use a request for proposals process for garbage and recycling services. Current law sets forth the requirements for local governments to contract with private companies for the collection or disposal of solid waste and requires such contracts to be awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder. The City believes it could better serve its residents if it could use the requests for proposal bid process in its procurement of solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services instead of a lowest bid process.”