REMINDER: Inquiries to clarify the requirements of this RFP can be directed to Joe Welter at (319) 356-5144 or emailed to joe-welter@iowa-city.org. All inquiries must be made no later than September 18, 2019.

Submittals are due 4:00 PM, Monday September 30, 2019


The City of Iowa City is soliciting proposals from interested consulting firms, licensed in the State of Iowa, to provide professional engineering services for the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center and Wastewater Treatment Plant. The selected firm will assist the City in a methane feasibility study in achieving two of the City's goals in the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

  1. Take action on a study to efficiently capture and use methane from the Wastewater Plant.
  2. Take action on a feasibility study on energy generation from Landfill methane. 

Public bidding information and documents

The full RFP can be found online. 

Bids were open on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Submittals are due by 4 p.m., Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. Late submittals will not be evaluated.

They can be delivered to:

City Clerk
City of Iowa City City Hall
410 E. Washington St.
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Full project timeline

  • Pre-proposal meeting will be on September 12, 2019
  • All inquiries must be made no later than September 18, 2019
  • If interviews are conducted, they will be done during the week of October 21st
  • Selection of consultant will occur on approximately October 25, 2019
  • Consultant agreements will be finalized approximately by November 8, 2019
  • Project deadline: See RFP 

Project narrative

Take Action on a Study to Efficiently Capture and Use Methane from Wastewater Operations

After water is used by residents, it flows into the wastewater system and then goes to the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. While the City currently captures methane gas from the digesters used in the wastewater treatment process, only a portion of the methane is used to offset natural gas usage for the plant. To explore other options for further management of wastewater GHG emissions, the City should conduct a study to determine the feasibility of using all captured methane to create renewable fuel or electricity that can be used to operate the facility, and take specific actions based on the results of this study.

Take Action on a Feasibility Study on Energy Generation from Landfill Methane

The methane produced by decomposition of organic waste in the Iowa City Landfill is currently being flared to transform it into carbon dioxide, which is a less potent GHG. The City has been considering methods to use the methane as a renewable energy source, and to further explore this opportunity, the City will conduct a feasibility study in FY2019 and take specific actions based on the results of this study.

Responses to Inquiries 

General Response: Many of the landfill’s regulatory documents are available on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Website. The DNR Solid Waste Permitting Electronic Document Retrieval (Document DNA) is located online. The DNR Air Quality Bureau’s Records Center Information can also be found online. Please feel free to download any of these documents.

  • Question 1: Our understanding is that landfill leachate goes to the sanitary sewer system for ultimate treatment at the City WWTP. Please confirm that this understanding is correct.
    • Response 1: The leachate from the landfill is conveyed through sanitary sewers to the Wastewater Plant.
  • Question 2: How much landfill leachate is produced?
  • Question 3: Is there any leachate recirculation at the landfill?
    • Response 3: No, there is not.
  • Question 4: Will the City provide a copy of the Gas Collection and Control System (GCCS) Plan to proposers?
    • Response 4: A Gas Collection and Control System (GCCS) Plan is not required by the facility’s permits. We likely have the components that would comprise such as a plan. If specific parts are requested, they can be provided.
  • Question 5: Does the City conduct surface emissions surveys at the landfill? If yes, would the latest report be made available to proposers?
    • Response 5: As part of the Title V Operating Permit, the City conducts semi-annual monitoring. The Semi-Annual Monitoring Reports are public records and available on the DNR website.
  • Question 6: Will electronic submittals of the response to proposals be accepted?

    • Response 6: An electronic copy of the response should be included with each response to the RFP. Hard copies are preferred by some staff members. Presentation and style in the response is noted by many reviewers. Electronic submittals can be sent to joe-welter@iowa-city.org.

  • Question 7: What is the duration of the evaluation for the proposed study?

    • Response 7: The emission reduction goals in the Climate Action and Adaption Plan are set at years 2025 and 2050. As implementation of any alternatives or options presented at the completion of the study will take several years, the study should aggressively address the reduction goals for 2025. The study can broadly address the reduction goals for 2050.

  • Question 8: Should a phase of development be considered in the study?

    • Response 8: This is likely more complex than the scope of this study is to consider.

  • Question 9: Should local gas-operated vehicles be considered (e.g. city fleet vehicles)?

    • Response 9: The city has invested in many electric vehicles in the past two years. It is unlikely that the city will utilize gas-fueled vehicles.

  • Question 10: Should pre-processing of food waste be considered?

    • Response 10: Yes, to the degree that pre-processing will affect the feasibility. For example, consider whether the costs of pre-processing or the availability of local pre-processing make food wastes more or less desirable for either facility.

  • Question 11: What is the range for the landfill flare’s capacity?

    • Response 11: The minimum and maximum capacities for the flare are 155 and 1,550 scfm.

  • Question 12: Can a map of the landfill facility be provided?

    • Response 12: Yes, a link is provided below.

    • The full site map of the Landfill can be found online

  • Question 13: Will there be a public stakeholder component to the study?

    • Response 13: This is beyond the objectives of this project as stated in Project Objective Section of the RFP.

  • Question 14: Does a food waste study need to be included in the scope of services?

    • Response 14: The types and amounts of food wastes will need to be considered to the degree that it impacts the feasibility of methane generation, collection, processing, and reuse at the two facilities. There is a lot of information available on food wastes currently collected.  There is a link to the waste characterization report for 2017 in the RFP. There are approximately 16,000 homes in Iowa City that participate in curbside food waste collection, which is co-mingled with yard wastes. As stated in the RFP, “Food wastes are approximately 25% of the total landfilled wastes (or 34,000 tons) each year.” The Wastewater Plant processes streams from industries and businesses. Data can be provided once tabulated by staff.

  • Question 15: Should planned upgrades to the facilities be considered in the study?

    • Response 15: Yes, planned upgrades should be considered to the degree that it impacts the feasibility of methane generation, collection, processing, and reuse at the two facilities. This study is to determine if methane reuse is feasible. The scope of the study is not to design upgrades to the landfill or plant. The study also cannot evaluate more than a reasonable look into the future of these two facilities. Some future projects to consider at the Wastewater Plant are the rehabilitation of the digester and addressing struvite issues. The Landfill will be looking into the development of a Master Plan after completion of this study.  The landfill is currently looking at improvements to the composting operations, new maintenance buildings, and expansion of the dual extraction system installed on the facility’s gas collection wells.

  • Question 16: How are fats, oils, and greases (FOG) dealt with at the Wastewater Plant?

    • Response 16: There is not a formalized process in place now. Outside the scope of this study, a process is being looked at by staff.

  • Question 17: Does the 20-page limit include dividers, cover letter, resumes?  Should resumes in particular be included in an appendix and not counted in the page numbers?

    • Response 17: The 20-page limit does not include a cover letter or dividers. Resumes should be included in the 20-page limit.  Resumes should be included in Key Personnel and Reference Projects Portions of the Submittal Contents.

  • Question 18: Several commenters have asked for the February 28, 2020 deadline to be extended.

    • Response 18: A new RFP has been posted with the following revision, “Respondents will include a schedule with an estimate of the total project duration. The project schedule should aim for a completion in late winter or early spring 2020.”

  • Question 19: We understand that the City is interested in understanding net GHG and energy impacts. Does this City prefer a lifecycle approach, which would include net embodied GHG and energy within the materials (concrete, steel, etc.) of any installed equipment and facilities? Or is the City primarily interested in in direct impacts, meaning direct GHG emissions reduced/energy conserved compared to additional direct GHG emitted/energy consumed by the added processes?

    • Response 19: Once awarded the project, the successful bidder will evaluate three fully developed alternatives.  A fully developed alternative would consider the full lifecycle of the presented alternative.  The City is interested in meeting the Project Objectives as included in the RFP and CAAP.  It should be considered if the lifecycle of alternatives presented in the study extend out to the 2025 or 2050 goals of the CAAP.

  • Question 20: Does the City prefer a single, integrated deliverable or two independent reports for landfill and wastewater?

    • Response 20: The City would like one draft report and one final report. The City does not want separated documents.

  • Question 21: How many copies of each response to the RFP are required?

    • Answer 21: Please provide four (4) hard copies and a complete electronic copy of each response to the RFP.

Department