At the May 12, 2020 City Council Meeting, Council authorized the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Solid Waste Consultant Services and on July 14, 2020, Council awarded the contract to HF&H Consultants, LLC (HF&H). HF&H projected that the timeline for the competitive solid waste agreement procurement process would take approximately one-year and estimated another 6 months to complete rollout of services under the new franchise agreement. The City’s current residential and commercial solid waste and recycling services agreements with Republic Services were set to expire on January 31, 2021. On November 24, 2020, Council authorized Amendments No. 5 to the agreements, extending the term for one year to January 31, 2022 with an optional 5-month extension to June 30, 2022.
City staff has been working with HF&H over the past several months to develop the RFP for Integrated Solid Waste Management Services and draft agreement. To develop the terms and scope of the RFP and draft agreement, staff and HF&H conducted a comprehensive evaluation of existing service levels provided for both residential and commercial customers in the City, potential service enhancements, and current and upcoming State mandates related to recycling, organics, and food waste. A major focus of the scope of work is ensuring compliance with State legislation including AB 939, AB 341, AB 1826, AB 1594, and SB 1393. A short summary of each legislation is provided below:
Adopted in 1989, AB 939 (the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989) provides the statutory framework for solid waste collection in the State. Among other mandates, cities are required to divert at least 50% of their waste and report solid waste program activities to the State's solid waste agency. This Act has been amended numerous times, including the listed legislation below.
Adopted in 2012, AB 341 requires mandatory commercial recycling and sets forth a state diversion goal of 75% by 2020.
Adopted in 2014, AB 1826 requires mandatory commercial organics (food and green waste) recycling from businesses, and green waste recycling from multi-family units (five or more units) by April 2016. Food scrap recycling programs were also required to be offered.
Adopted in 2014, AB 1594 eliminates allowing the use of green (yard) waste for alternative daily cover at landfills as a diversion credit in state reporting starting in January 2020.
Adopted in 2016, SB 1383 establishes goals to reduce short lived climate pollutants (e.g., methane gas) in various sectors. In particular, methane gasses released from landfills as a result of decomposing organic material. This legislation will have the most significant impact on both residential and commercial customers. This law will require a substantial change in the way customers dispose and recycle their solid and organic waste. Current practices allow customers to throw both their solid and organic waste into one single cart or bin. Under the new legislation, customers will be required to separate their solid and organic waste and place them into separate carts or bins. The separation and collection method will be determined by the individual solid waste haulers. Once solid and organic waste collection has been completed, the separated organic waste will then be processed and recycled by solid waste haulers. Through the separation of solid waste and organic waste, the goal is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted from landfills due to decomposing organic materials; therefore, meeting the target diversion rate of 75% by the year 2025 established by the State. Residential and commercial customers will likely see significant increases in their fees due to this legislation, since solid waste haulers will be required to modify their current collection methods, diverting processes and recycling facilities.
Since achieving compliance with these mandates is critical, the RFP requires the proposers offer organics collection for both residential and commercial customers and provide education and public outreach to customers regarding the new solid waste, recycling, and organics recycling disposal requirements. Additionally, the RFP requires proposers to bill both residential and commercial customers. Currently, the billing responsibility is split between the City and Republic Services with the City billing residential customers and Republic Services billing commercial customers.
If approved, this Request for Proposals will be posted and distributed on March 10, 2021, with complete proposals due to the City Clerk on July 1, 2021 by 2:00pm. Proposals received will go through a three-month evaluation process with the top proposals being selected for negotiations. Staff anticipates returning to Council in November 2021 for award of contract, with new service beginning on July 1, 2022.