A contract will be signed this week for the huge pile of tires at the George Town landfill to be shredded and used as fill in development projects around the island, including the newly approved Ironwood golf resort.
Premier Alden McLaughlin confirmed Friday that Island Recycling and its international partner Guernsey Recycling have been selected by the Central Tenders Committee for the project.
Under questioning from opposition leader McKeeva Bush, he defended the selection of the joint bid over rival bidder Shamrock Heights Ltd. and its overseas partner, saying the committee made its decision based on an independent appraisal of the rival bids.
He also defended government’s decision to pay $1.25 million, which will be drawn from the Environmental Protection Fund, for the tire removal, saying it had no choice after five failed efforts to sell them.
He acknowledged that the price of removal could increase if there turned out to be more than 500,000 tires at the dump.
“That is an estimate. No one truly knows what the number of tires is,” he said.
North Side legislator Ezzard Miller questioned why government could not have tried to give the tires away for free.
Mr. McLaughlin said, “We did all of that, we tried five times. The government has to deal with what is a major environmental problem and we have reluctantly been driven to the conclusion, after five tenders trying to attract bidders to pay for the tires, that this is not going to work and that is why we have gone through this process.”
Even with a financial incentive, he said, there had been only two qualified bidders for the tire removal project.
“This is not something people are falling over themselves to do,” he added.
The premier said the winning bidder had a deal with Davenport Development and Ironwood for the shredded tires to be used as aggregate in upcoming projects.
He said there is now a working shredder at the George Town landfill, and the tire mountain will not be allowed to accumulate again.
“Once that huge volume of tires has been taken away, we won’t get back in this situation again,” he said. “The shredder is operational and will be able to deal with them as they come in rather than letting them accumulate as they have since 2000.”
Mr. Bush raised questions about how the bidder was selected, citing information from a letter sent by lawyers representing rival bidder Shamrock Heights Ltd. and its overseas partner Machinery Supply Inc., questioning the points allocated during the bid process.
In the letter, tabled by Mr. Bush, the company questions the points it was allocated by the Central Tenders Committee in various categories, including past experience, availability of equipment and completion time.
“After reviewing the score sheet, my clients felt that their company’s bid was not represented fairly and they strongly disagree with the final decision. Points were not given to the company in certain categories that were very much deserved,” the letter to Roydell Carter, director of the Department of Environmental Health, states.
Mr. McLaughlin said neither he nor any other government member was involved in the independent selection process and that the Central Tenders Committee had appraised the bids using the usual scoring system.
“This contract has been awarded by the CTC through the usual processes, no minister had anything to do with it,” he said. “The machinations of the CTC is not something I can comment on.”