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Contractor Calls For Investigation Into City’s Pending Recycling Contract

The mayor is responding to claims.


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Jen Rice
The city is negotiating a new recycling contract.

The CEO of a company that vied to become the city's new recycling contractor is calling for an investigation into the bidding process.

EcoHub was in talks with former Mayor Annise Parker's administration to lead the high-profile One Bin for All initiative, but last week Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city is close to a decision in a different direction.

George Gitschel, the CEO of EcoHub, wants the city attorney to investigate how the city selected a new recycling contractor.

"It was definitely a rigged bid, in the classic sense of the word," he said. "I've done everything the right way and I'm going to build this plant. If I have to file a lawsuit, I'll file a lawsuit."

Four years ago, Houston secured a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop the One Bin Initiative. The cutting-edge plan called for Houstonians to use one bin for all garbage, recyclables, and yard waste. It would be sorted later at a facility.

EcoHub was close to finalizing a deal to build that $100 million facility – with the old administration. Now, pending approval from City Council, Mayor Turner is going ahead with FCC Environmental to oversee the city's recycling program.

"No one is going to coerce me into a deal that did not originate on my watch, in which I find no merit," Turner said.

Mayor Turner said Gitschel's company could have applied when his administration asked for bidders last year.

"They had every right to submit a bid, like five other companies did," he said. "They chose not to."

Gitschel claimed the recent bidding process excluded his company.

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