Future Collection Contract

The City is in the process of determining what should be part of the next solid waste collection contract. The next collection contractor must be in place and ready to start by January 1, 2021, if not before.

Four Open Houses have already been held to discuss with residents what is being considered.

Early Planning

The next solid waste contract must be in place by January 1, 2021, when the current contract expires. The City can pursue starting the contract early if the contractor is able to do so.

Why so long in advance? The company that wins the bid for collection will need more than a year to assemble all of the equipment needed for collection. This will include purchasing up to 500,000 carts which could cost up to $25 million. Up to 100 collection trucks will be needed at $350,000 each for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles Omaha will be looking for, so there is another $35 million.

The resources linked to this page are the guiding documents and actions taken by the City in the process of evaluating what is needed in the next solid waste contract.

Studies, Surveys & Media Updates

Because of Waste Management’s difficulty in recruiting an adequate number of drivers during 2015 and 2016, the Mayor and City Council determined that some important aspects of solid waste collection needed to be studied prior to the next contract.

The Public Works Department hired SCS Engineers to conduct two studies and a public opinion survey.

Benchmark Study Report Final v1.0 26 pages
The goal of this study was to give the City a reasonable idea of what options might be available or need to be evaluated for the next solid waste contract. This study thoroughly examined two local communities and 11 regional cities of comparable size to Omaha.
Yardwaste Study Report Final v1.0 54 pages
The largest and most in-depth of the studies. This study was to quantify the economic and environmental aspects of dealing with yardwaste collection and disposal in a variety of ways. Predominantly there are two scenarios that quantify the economic and environmental aspects and three additional variation scenarios considered.
Public Opinion Survey Summary Letter Final v1.0 Includes Survey Script 15 pages
To gauge the public’s satisfaction with the current collection contract and assess the public’s willingness to accept change, a telephone survey was conducted. The public opinion survey contacted a statistically accurate sample of 550 households across the city.
Public Opinion Survey Final v1.0 inclusive with raw data 236 pages
City Council Presentation by SCS 22 pages
In January, 2017, SCS Engineers presented the findings of the two studies and the public opinion survey to the City Council.
Request for Bid Development Update 2 pages
On March 6, 2018, SCS Engineers and Public Works briefed the Mayor and Council regarding development of the Request for Bid. This briefing document was provided to the media at a news conference that same day.


Knowing of the City’s interest in changing to a cart collection system in the next contract, Waste Management offered to provide the equipment so Omaha could see first hand how a cart collection system with automated side load trucks would work. This offer was made without any financial compensation to Waste Management and no commitment by the City.

The City and Waste Management agreed on areas of 500 homes in each of the collection days making a total of 2,500 homes in the automated collection pilot. The areas selected represent the vast majority of streets and situations that the contractor would encounter when collecting the whole city.

Videos of the Automated Side Load Pilot in Omaha are available on YouTube, click here.


Post Pilot Public Opinion Survey Summary Letter Final v1.0 Includes Survey Script 8 pages

After using carts for collection and experiencing automated collection for five months, a telephone survey was conducted. The public opinion survey contacted a statistically accurate sample of 200 households within the pilot areas.
Post Pilot Public Opinion Survey Final v1.0 inclusive with raw data 95 pages
Archived Pilot Website (Opens in a new tab)
During the pilot, residents in the pilot areas were directed to this website with information specifically for them. The pilot website is archived as it was when the pilot finished. The information on the pilot webpage only applied to the pilot and does not apply to any current collection.


The Mayor’s hotline is collecting input from residents regarding the next solid waste collection contract. If you have comments, please contact the Mayor’s hotline either by phone at 402-444-5555, or by e-mail at hotline@cityofomaha.org.

SCS Engineers has been hired to assist the City through the process of developing, and writing the new contract (Request for Bid). This winter will be used to develop and write the bid document. Then in the early spring it will be available for the potential bidders. Bid opening, evaluation, selection, and approval by the City Council is expected by the end of 2018.

Media Coverage

Additional Resources

Open Houses — Archive

Please Come!

Four open houses will help introduce the public to the contract options being looked at and the type of equipment being considered. It will be an opportunity to get clarification of the contract process.

At the open houses, eight posters will present the highlights of what has been studied and the information collected. A Public Works staff member or an SCS Engineers employee will be stationed at each poster board to answer questions.

You may click on the icon next to each study or survey listed below to review the posters before the open house. Be aware that these are large format, 3 feet by 4 feet poster boards and will not reproduce well on most home printers.

The studies and information collected was also synopsized in the July 2017 issue of WASTELINE. You may click on the W icon next to each study or survey listed below to read the WASTELINE article. This will be a single article, and not the full issue of WASTELINE. To review the complete issue, click here. Be aware that WASTELINE is a large format publication and will not reproduce well on a home printer.

Open House Schedule

  • No formal presentations.
  • Come at any time during the open house.
  • All open houses will provide the same information.
  • A survey/comment card will be distributed at each open house.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 5:30PM to 7:30PM    Nathan Hale Middle School, 6143 Whitmore Street
Thursday, July 27, 2017, 5:30PM to 7:30PM    Elkhorn Ridge Middle School, 17880 Marcy Street
Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 5:30PM to 7:30PM    Columbus Park Community Center, 1515 South 24th Street
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 5:30PM to 7:30PM    Westside Community Conference Center, 3534 South 108th Street

Omaha Home & Garden Expo — Archive

We have sample carts at the Omaha Home & Garden Expo. You may come “kick the tires” and try them out and ask questions about the next contract.

The Expo is February 8, 9, 10, & 11, 2018, at the CenturyLink Center. For more info about the show, click here.