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In 1998 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (Charlotte) began the process of selecting a private company to provide long-term management services for all of its biosolids and water treatment residuals. Although contract solids management is nothing new to Charlotte, or many other utilities, this procurement process was unique because of the lengthy contract period. Charlotte was planning for a minimum initial contract period of 10 years, with two 5-year extensions possible. Typical contract periods are for 3 years or less with the potential for 1-year or 2-year extensions. This longer contract period was expected to provide economic benefit to Charlotte, as well as encourage creative management options for the solids. The multi-step selection process began June 1, 1998, and was completed on July 1, 1999 with Wheelabrator Water Technologies, Inc., Bio Gro Division (Bio Gro), beginning contract operations. This paper will describe in detail the procurement process and some of the obstacles and lessons learned during the process. The benefits to the City will also be identified. Other utilities currently using or considering future contract operations will benefit from Charlotte's experiences.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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