Good Point feels sting of lost contract in Vermont

Good Point feels sting of lost contract in Vermont

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Jan. 24, 2014

The Vermont e-scrap processing company that stirred up controversy around contractual decisions made by state regulators now says it is being forced to cut staff and sell facility space.

Good Point Recycling, headed by Robin Ingenthron, helped establish the infrastructure behind Vermont's statewide e-scrap collection program in recent years, but the company lost its contract last year when officials elected to hand collection duties to publicly traded Casella Waste Systems. Some terms of the state's deal with Casella caused Ingenthron to cry foul, and he filed suit against the state, eventually backing off after officials approved his "independent plan" for e-scrap collection in the state.

But according to a story this week on the Vermont Digger website, the independent plan route is not working out for Good Point. Due to confusion and communication issues, Good Point has not been able to ink collection agreements with as many electronics manufacturers as the company originally planned. Ingenthron also claims Casella has refused to accept some e-scrap his company hauled to Casella subcontractor facilities.

Those revenue hindrances have forced Good Point to cut six jobs and put its 50,000-square-foot building on the market, according to Ingenthron, who has also raised questions as to why the state picked Casella over Good Point in the first place.

Good Point's proposal of a 28 cent per pound collection rate was lower than Casella's agreed-upon rate of 36 cents per pound, Ingenthron alleges. David Mears at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, however, told E-Scrap News that Ingenthron's figures are inaccurate

"Mr. Ingenthron may not understand the contract the state has with Casella," Mears said. "If you review the final contract with Casella, you will see that it includes a tiered payment schedule. The rate starts at 36 cents per pound for the first 2 million pounds collected, but then, at each successive 1 million pound increment, reduces to 30.1 cents, 25.2 cents, 23.2 cents and, finally back to 30.1 cents per pound for the final increment."

According to Mears, if Casella manages to collect more than 5 million pounds of e-scrap during the year, "the rate averages approximately 30.1 cents per pound." Good Point's proposal "was for 30 cents per pound," not 28 cents per pound, Mears added. He said after Good Point refused to accept "standard contract terms," Mears' team turned to Casella, which agreed to the state's requirements.

Michael Durfor, executive director of Good Point partner Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), told E-Scrap News while Good Point and NRRA had "suggested substitute language" to be used in the final contract, their proposal "stated unequivocally that if the 'standard terms' could not be changed we would accept them and move on."

Durfor added Mears' expectation of Casella collecting 5 million pounds of e-scrap was "virtually impossible" due to the added presence of Good Point in the region as an approved, if disgruntled, e-scrap collector.

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