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In response to environmental concerns, the Board of County Commissioners in Sarasota County, Florida passed a new ordinance for the land application of all Class B biosolids on County agricultural lands. Although the County did not land apply its own sludge within the County at that time, the new restrictions could have affected future hauling contracts. The County completed a Wastewater Management Plan in 2001 that suggested a long-term plan for biosolids management, which was to involve the production of Class A biosolids. The County realized that implementation of the long-term objective would take considerable time, but the new restrictions on the application of Class B biosolids would take effect in a matter of months. Concurrent with the passing of the new ordinance, the County issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a short-term solution. During the RFP review process, one of the vendors proposed mobile dewatering and disposal in a landfill. Although this solution was more costly, it enabled the County to meet its short-term objective to cease land-application of biosolids.

The County recognized that developing a long-term solution would likely take several years to initiate, from process selection through construction and startup. Based on recommendations in the Wastewater Management Plan, the County embarked upon a market-driven approach to longterm biosolids management. Four proposals were received in response to the RFP. A matrix evaluation was performed to compare proposals addressing not only costs, but also on the basis of a number of other issues important to the County. One firm was chosen and negotiations are nearing completion.

This presentation describes a market-driven approach to biosolids management, which was successfully implemented by Sarasota County. The unique approach allowed firms to creatively develop responses to the County's RFP for biosolids services. The paper will discuss issues in the RFP development and how public/private partnership was encouraged through the process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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