In 2018 Fairfax County collected nearly 1.6 million pounds of scrap electronics. | Lukasz Stefanski/Shutterstock

E-scrap collection contracting in Fairfax County, Va. turned messy after the county selected a new service provider to replace its existing vendor.

Fairfax County officials issued a request for proposals for an e-scrap company to take material collected throughout the county of over 1 million people. In 2018, the county, which is located near Washington, D.C., collected nearly 1.6 million pounds of scrap electronics.

The Fairfax Times newspaper reports that the county has been served by local firm Securis for the past two years. After the recent bid, county officials decided to award the contract to Powerhouse Recycling. But when the old contract ended, the former contractor was forced to lay off its entire team of employees, who are individuals with developmental disabilities.

Now, after a protest from Securis, the county has reversed course and terminated the new contract. “The county is exploring options for acquiring collection and recycling services moving forward,” a county official told the Fairfax Times.

Beyond the layoff of its entire e-scrap workforce, Securis took issue with how the county evaluated the bids. Although the Powerhouse Recycling bid offered better pricing in some cases, Securis claimed it would have implemented a revenue-sharing program giving the county a 50% rebate from resale revenues. As such, Securis claimed its bid would provide $545,000 in savings to the county over Powerhouse’s bid, according to the Fairfax Times.

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