City competing with Ragn-Sells

Tallinn just took delivery of five new garbage trucks the capital plans to use to compete with Ragn-Sells that has canceled its contract in the Kesklinn borough.

City-owned Tallinn Waste Recycling Center (TJT) was issued a waste permit that allows the company to offer refuse collection services in Tallinn.

Tallinn's Kesklinn borough (with the exception of the Old Town) will become a so-called free market area in terms of waste collection where citizen will be able to pick their own service provider from May 25. The choice will probably be between TJT and Ragn-Sells as other companies seem disinterested in competing on a free market.

Public procurement winner Ragn-Sells delivered an ultimatum to the city earlier this year: either Tallinn hikes waste collection prices, or the company will cancel its contract.

The problem is that the Riigikogu amended the refuse act in a way to make it impossible for local governments to organize waste collection through self-owned companies after the contract with Ragn-Sells was signed. The city had held twofold procurements where companies competed for separate waste transport and waste conditioning contracts. Because Ragn-Sells canceled its contract, the city decided to procure garbage trucks and collect waste in the Kesklinn borough itself.

„A city cannot function in a situation where someone is blackmailing it, saying that either you pay more or we leave. So we decided that everyone will do what they think is best, and the city government decided TJT will procure five new trucks for which it will pay form its own pocket. These are new, modern trucks. One, called RotoPress, sports very sophisticated technology and is smaller than the others. It is especially suited for collecting organic waste, and it is our goal to promote recycling,“ Deputy Mayor Arvo Sarapuu said after looking over the new trucks yesterday.

„I believe that when people see our new trucks and how reliable we are, they will retain their contracts with the Tallinn Waste Center instead of signing new ones with Ragn-Sells in the free market situation,“ he added.

Ragn-Sells recently sent a letter to the borough's waste holders offering them so-called free market service at exactly the same prices maintained by the city's refuse center that mediates services of companies that prevailed in the public procurement.

„It is a recognition for us that Ragn-Sells laid down the exact same price on the free market that the Tallinn Waste Center has. Until recently they were saying the center charges five times as much. Now they can come and show those low prices they've been talking about,“ said head of the company Kertu Tiitso.

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