Pomona plans to outsource garbage and recycling services – Daily Bulletin
Pomona residents will consider a proposal to outsource the city’s garbage and recycling programs at a public hearing next month.
At its October 17 meeting, the City Council voted 5-2 to declare its intention to grant Athens Services an exclusive franchise agreement for an initial 10-year term with two optional five-year extensions. Councilors Victor Preciado and Elizabeth Ontiveros-Cole voted against.
The council’s vote is procedural, prosecutor Sonia Carvalho said at the meeting. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for November 21, when a final decision on a contract is expected.
If accepted, Athens Services’ proposed residential rates in 2023 would be $35.50, compared to the projected city rate of $35.78 in January 2023. Athens would also combine multi-family and commercial services into one and offer “comparable or better than those.” current tariffs”. This is according to a report from the city administration.
Athens would have two years to provide new trucks and one year to provide residents with new containers, and in the meantime it would purchase and use the city’s equipment.
According to the city, the contract would leave her with a $770,000 surplus in her general fund.
In addition, the city would receive $1.25 million in one-time revenue from the sale of trucks and container equipment, an $800,000 reimbursement for street sweeper signs, and a $250,000 reimbursement for procurement services.
Also, as part of the agreement, $750,000 annually would be allocated for road improvements.
The City Council started the lengthy process to look for an exclusive collection, recycling and disposal partner in November 2021. Proposals were received from three solid waste transport companies: Athens, Burrtec Waste Industries and Waste Management.
After the city completed a rating and evaluation process, Athens ranked highest of the three, according to a staff report.
The move came as a result of the city requiring significant investment in its internal services, including a new garbage truck, the required container swap and additional staffing, officials previously said.
Meanwhile, the city expected higher costs related to Senate Bill 1383, a 2016 law that set a statewide goal of diverting 50% of waste to landfill by 2022 and 75% by 2025, while also aiming to phase out edible food by 2025 increase by 20%.
If the city kept the services in-house, it would have to increase rates by over 40% to cover the existing costs and the additional costs related to SB 1383. According to a city report, the outsourcing would save $9 million in municipal staffing and maintenance costs.
Should the city decide to outsource garbage collection, 19 full-time positions and five part-time positions are expected to be eliminated due to job vacancies, retirement entitlements and transfer rights. Those employees would be offered employment with the new contractor if they met eligibility requirements, such as passing a drug test, the city said.
Athens would offer incentives for laid-off employees, including a $25,000 retention bonus for all full-time employees and $5,000 for all part-time employees.