Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, Sept. 18 @ 5:53 p.m.

Recology Del Norte GM Says Extended Contract Allows Firm To Recoup Costs For New Street-side Containers

Recology Del Norte's general manager says replacing these cans with new concrete ones won't cost the public anything. Photo: DNSWMA

Recology Del Norte’s general manager says he’d ask the local solid waste authority to extend his collections contract whether or not his firm spends about $250,000 replace 120 street-side trash and recycling containers.

Approaching the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority for the second time, Jeremy Herber said Recology Del Norte will pay to replace the blue and metal containers with concrete ones without seeking to increase rates. Recology Del Norte would also pay for a few extras, he said, but because it’s a big investment, the company needs time to recoup those costs.

“This is directly from us as a gift to the community to purchase this,” Herber told the Solid Waste Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. “We just need time to recoup that funding.”

The DNSWMA board appointed Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore and its new public representative, Mike Tompkins, to an ad-hoc committee to negotiate a potential 10-year extension to Recology Del Norte’s contract.

The DNSWMA entered into its current agreement with Recology in 2011. It sunsets in 2023. Herber seeks to extend that contract to 2033.

Herber said if the authority agrees to extend the contract, he’d be willing to purchase the new street-side receptacles by January 2020. The receptacles have been approved by Crescent City and the Del Norte County Planning Commission, Herber said.
Replacing the street-side receptacles was the impetus for Herber to bring up contract negotiations four years ahead of the current agreement’s expiration date, though he said he didn’t want that issue to drive the discussion.

Proposed changes to the agreement includes a possible recycling theft ordinance. Herber told the DNSWMA on Aug. 27 that Recology loses more than $50,000 a year in products that carry a CRV deposit. The new agreement also asks for weight limits on compactors since many are beyond his trucks’ capacity to handle.
Herber also requested a process for reviewing rate changes that are tied to the consumer price index and for ways to deal with potential changes in the recycling market.

As part of the extension, the Solid Waste Management Authority would want assurances from Recology Del Norte that materials placed in trash, recycling and brush containers are managed so they don’t contribute to the volume of plastics in the ocean, according to the authority’s staff report.

Recology Del Norte has also hired a full-time zero waste coordinator to do increase public outreach to reduce contamination in the community’s recycling stream. It would also leave room in the extended contract for a transfer station in the northern part of the county. Under the new contract, the existing community recycling bins would be moved from the Smith River post office to the new transfer station.

During the discussion, Inscore said an ad-hoc should work through the contract negotiations rather than waiting to see what staff comes up with.

“The value of the ad-hoc is to make sure the Commission itself is part of this whole thing since we’re going to establish this policy,” he said. “I don’t have any desire to have extra meetings unless there’s value in being able to talk through some of these things so that when it comes back to the dais, you have two people who fully understand everything that’s implied in these things beyond just a paragraph.”

According to Herber, to comply with California Coastal Commission regulations, the new receptacles must be bolted down. Having concrete eliminates the possibility of the cans tipping over.

In other matters, the Solid Waste Authority board discussed potential new regulations regarding when rental trucks can unload their waste at the Del Norte Transfer Station.

DNSWMA Director Tedd Ward said people cleaning out properties have come to the transfer station with a large rented truck, just before closing time, and are unable to pay the disposal fee. Ward said staff has stayed beyond the facility’s 4 p.m. closing time while the customer calls someone and asks them to wire money for the fee.

Ward proposed changing the regulations to require that if a self-haul customer is unloading more than one cubic yard of trash, he or she must arrive at the facility before 4 p.m. or they wouldn’t be accommodated until the following day. Transfer station staff have run into this situation more than five times in the last two or three months, he said.

“Our rule is if you’re in line by 5 p.m., you get service,” Ward said. “But if we try to follow the rule with large rented trucks that pushes us later and later in the evening.”

Rather than allowing Ward to go ahead with the new rule, Solid Waste commissioners suggested the DNSWMA try outreach and education first.

“If we come back three months from now and it’s the exact same pattern, they’re still doing this, I would say we do have a trend and we have a pattern,” Inscore said.



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