FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The city of Fort Wayne is taking steps to eventually name a new trash collection contractor.
The city’s Board of Public Works on Tuesday approved a resolution that will allow for the City of Fort Wayne Solid Waste Department to seek bids for a new garbage and recycling hauler once an agreement between the City of Fort Wayne and Red River is reached in bankruptcy court.
The city said the action was a “procedural matter that is a required step in the process of bidding out services and will assist the City in moving as quickly as possible to make improvements for ratepayers.”
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Red River Waste Solution filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Northern District of Texas in October. In the filing, the family-owned business, which services 310,000 households across 5 states including Fort Wayne, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic, a credit agreement and “operational challenges” for its financial struggles.
After that, Fort Wayne officials began to evaluate its next steps and make contingency plans, as four years of struggles with Red River’s collection processes. The trash company has routinely missed collections around the city, and faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
The city said Tuesday that “progress continues to be made” in Red River’s bankruptcy proceedings.
City spokesman John Perlich said the City and Red River were working through the bankruptcy court to reach a final resolution that would have Red River continue services for the next 4-6 months while the city develops the bid specifications to ultimately hire a new contractor and have them on board this summer.