HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A loser's sour grapes or a legitimate gripe against Houston's Mayor?
"This is crazy, this is a rigged bid!" said George Gitschel, President of EcoHub.
Gitschel is publicly alleging corruption at City Hall, claiming Sylvester Turner torpedoed a long term, cutting edge, single bin recycling deal that would keep 75 percent of Houston's trash out of land-fills.
"Our system will save Houston $25 to $40 million per year. It will employ thousands of people. It will bring billions of dollars into the economy. It will reduce the carbon footprint by millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions," said Gitschel.
Turner today fired back claiming EcoHub's proposal was a holdover from the Annise Parker administration which he found "suspect".
"I'm sorry no one is going to coerce me into a deal that didn't originate on my watch and in which I find no merit," said Turner in response to questions from Fox 26.
Gitschel claims Turner's "no merit" argument is groundless.
"I've got the largest private construction company in the world guaranteeing it. I've got financing from the biggest financial institutions in the whole world that have to know it's going to work to do it. Oh is he (Turner) getting calls from the waste industry?" said Gitschel.
Today EcoHub today released a letter dated last September in which Turner "enthusiastically endorsed" a public-private consortium led by the recycler seeking a grant from the Department of Energy.
But a month later the mayor put the city's recycling program back up for competitive bid with new terms that Gitschel says were impossible for his company to meet, so they didn't try.
A firm called FCC has since been declared the winner.
"This new contract is for $87 a ton for the recycling. We've been in there for the last six years at $25 a ton, for all the waste," said Gitschel.
But the Mayor insists he's making the right call.
"I am kind of fascinated why the media is pushing me on a particular contractor? I'm not going to do it. It doesn't make any sense. None, especially when this contractor didn't go through the RFP process on my watch," said Turner who says the City of Dallas rejected an EcoHub proposal.
Turner says he plans to bring the 20 year, $57 million contract with FCC up for a vote before the full City Council later this month.