Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What procedures does CalRecycle use when advertising a contract?

A. When a need to obtain outside services is determined by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), a competitive package is created. The competitive package is made available on the CalRecycle contracts website for download by interested parties. Additionally, a summary of the services sought and other relevant information is advertised on the Department of General Services, eProcurement database, Cal eProcure. Cal eProcure is the new online market place portal to advertise bid opportunities with the state of California in the California State Contracts Register (CSCR).  It also provides access to the State Contracting and Procurement Registration System (SCPRS), Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE) certification and queries, and the statewide Leveraged Procurement Agreements (LPA) search functions.

Q. What is an Invitation for Bid (IFB)?

A. The IFB process is used to obtain routine services that may request personal or mechanical skills.

The IFB is very specific about the requested qualifications of the contractor, performance, time frames and requirements. If a contractor believes they meet the requirements and can provide the services, they submit a “bid” reflecting the cost of their services The contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

Q. What is a Request for Proposal (RFP)?

A. The RFP process is used to obtain complex services where professional expertise is needed and where different methods/approaches may be applied during performance of the contract. Depending on nature of the services provided, CalRecycle may choose either the RFP Primary or the RFP Secondary method.

CalRecycle seeks the most effective route in fulfilling the service required and therefore look to the contractors for a proposal outlining a creative way to fulfill the contract. The RFP is specific about the qualification requirements, performance specifications, time frames, and other requirements.

Proposals submitted are reviewed by a panel and scored. In a RFP Primary process, proposals meeting the minimum percentage score (identified in the competitive document) then have their submitted, sealed Cost Proposal opened in a publicly noticed bid opening. The lowest qualified responsible proposer receives the award. In a RFP Secondary process, cost is a component identified in the scoring criteria, therefore, there is no public bid opening. In this case, the “highest” scored responsible proposer receives the award.

Q. What is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ)?

A. The RFQ process is used for contracts where the needs of the state require emphasis on contractor qualifications over cost. The services sought under this type of competitive process must be authorized by statute (Government Code Section 4525). The contractor selection is based on the professional qualifications necessary to perform the contract at a fair and reasonable price.

The contractors submit a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) package and these are evaluated based on established scoring criteria identified in the competitive document. At least three of the highest ranked contractors are interviewed to discuss their qualifications in greater detail. Once CalRecycle determines the contractor that best meets the service need the contract manager conducts cost negotiations until a fair and reasonable price is reached.

Q. Does CalRecycle always award to the lowest bid?

A. No. The following types of competitive processes consider factors other than (or in addition to) cost when determining contractor award:

  • Revenue Agreements: When CalRecycle is seeking services for a revenue generating contract (Revenue Agreement), the award will go to the responsible contractor with the highest bid.
  • RFP Secondary: The scoring criteria identified in a RFP Secondary process includes the cost component with a weight of at least 30 percent of the total scoring points possible. In this process cost is a criteria, but not the primary factor when determining contractor award.
  • Request for Qualifications (RFQ): In this process, the contract award is made to the most qualified contractor. Therefore, qualifications are considered in the determination, not the cost for their services.

Q. How will I be notified if my bid is the apparent winner?

A. The contract analyst ensures that you are notified by e-mail (at minimum).

Q. If my bid/proposal was not the winning bid, can I find out whose was?

A. Yes. Please contact the Contracts Unit for this information at

Q. If I’m a non-bidder, but interested in obtaining bid results, who should I contact?

A. If you are a non-bidder then you may request copies of public records by sending an email to:

Q. Can my bid be for an amount in excess of the budgeted amount contained in the bid document?

A. The bid can be for any amount the contractor feels is necessary to fulfill the tasks outlined in the Scope of Work. However, CalRecycle will not award the contract to a contractor for an amount in excess of the budgeted amount.

Q. What if I have a question on a competitively bid contract after the Questions and Answer (Q&A) period has ended?

A. The Contracts Unit analysts are unable to answer questions directly relating to a competitive process after the Q&A period has ended. The Q&A period is set up to provide all contractors the opportunity to ask for and receive more information about the competitive process and/or contract services. It would be unfair to give one contractor the chance to ask questions without the other contractors having the same advantage. However, the contracts analysts can answer “administrative” questions, such as mailing addresses, etc. after the Q&A deadline has passed.

Q. Once the contract has been awarded to my company, what are the requirements pertaining to publications that are deliverables (reports, studies, manuals, fact sheets, and other documents)?

A. CalRecycle requires any contractor hired to write documents to follow the publications guidelines for clarity, consistency, and style.

Q. How can I determine what types of contracts CalRecycle is pursuing?

A. A periodic review of agendas for monthly meetings of the Materials Management & Local Assistance Division, Permits & Certification Division, Compliance & Enforcement Division, and the Division of Recycling serves as a roadmap to determine possible contracting opportunities. All service needs are also posted on the Contracts home page.

Q. How can I participate in the Debris Removal or Assessment & Monitoring Services for the current/recent wildfires?

A. Interested parties may subscribe to CalReycle’s Emergency Debris Recovery Contracts Listserv. Subscribers will receive notification when emergencies require post-incident contractor assistance and when new bidding opportunities become available.

Common needs include:

Debris or tree removal and disposal services Debris or tree removal assessments, monitoring, and environmental consulting services.

Once a solicitation is published, interested parties are encouraged to sign up for that particular contract opportunity.

Q. How can I participate as a subcontractor under the Emergency Debris Recovery Contracts?

A. CalRecycle works directly with prime contractors to manage the cleanup project and prime contractors to perform the removal of debris and/or trees. There are subcontracting opportunities available to support the prime contractors in performing the work. If you meet all the requirements listed in the solicitation, CalRecycle encourages you to bid as a prime contractor. CalRecycle encourages subcontractors to network with potential prime contractors through the list of interested parties published via addendum and/or previously awarded contracts.

Q. Will a list of interested parties be provided so that potential bidders/proposers can network accordingly? If non-bidder/non-proposer interested parties have specific services (i.e. disposal services, labs, etc.) or site locations that would be conducive to the current solicitation, how can they become involved?

A. Interested parties list is published via an addendum on the applicable contract solicitation page. CalRecycle encourages all interested parties to utilize this list for networking opportunities. A specific date for the interested parties list publication cannot be provided and will be dependent on the solicitation schedule.