Many Yuba-Sutter residents will see lower-than-anticipated rate increases for waste removal, under a tentative agreement reached between Recology and five jurisdictions that include the two counties of Sutter and Yuba and the cities of Live Oak, Marysville, and Wheatland.
All five jurisdictions, part of the Regional Waste Management Authority (RWMA), agreed on an approach that would revise and replace the existing agreements with Recology for garbage, recycling, and organic collection and disposal services.
“We truly believe our efforts achieved very good outcomes for our communities,” said Robert Bendorf, Yuba County Administrator. “What we have now are agreements that include comprehensive terms, reasonable risk sharing between the parties and services at rates that are reasonable.”
Current municipal solid waste collection services agreements for Yuba and Sutter counties and all four of its cities are set to expire in October 2019, unless replaced or extended. RWMA took the first steps toward new agreements back in 2016 that included community input, local member agency input and an analysis and recommendations report.
All RWMA members initially considered two available options: having the solid waste collection franchise agreements in their respective jurisdictions put out to bid or negotiating with Recology on a the current provider Recology.
Last year, Yuba City decided to seek proposals from other solid waste collection agencies, while the remaining five RWMA members chose to negotiate with Recology with the understanding that, if unsuccessful, each of the five jurisdictions would put the contract out to public bid.
“Under the terms of the previous agreement, our communities were facing a nearly 13 percent rate increase, beginning next month in October,” said Scott Mitnick, Sutter County Administrator. “Over the past few months, we had highly successful discussions with Recology, which resulted in avoiding such a large increase. In fact, under the new tentative agreement, residents within the five jurisdictions who use 64 and 96 gallon programs will experience monthly rate reductions of 30 percent to 46 percent. Those residents who use the 32 gallon three-cart service will experience an approximately 2.5 percent increase.”
The agreement does include increases to recycling service charges for commercial customers. However, Recology is taking steps to minimize any impacts by phasing in the increases over an 18 month period, rather than all at once.
“Recology valued the opportunity to put together an agreement that reflected a unified voice with the cities and counties; including, a continued focus on providing true benefits to our community,” said Recology Community Outreach Coordinator Jackie Sillman.
Recology also agreed to enhance some existing services and provide programs, as part of the agreements. Residents will be able to include food waste in the residential organics collection program at no additional cost. A new illegal dumping and cleanup program will be provided by Recology at no cost to jurisdictions, as well as a new graffiti abatement program.
The initial term of the tentative agreements is ten years and includes the option for two five year extensions. Annual rate adjustments will be simplified, as part of the agreements, with increases limited to no more than three percent. The agreements must still go before both boards of supervisors and all three city councils for approval.