Recology Yuba-Sutter secured its final waste collection services agreement Tuesday when the Yuba City City Council unanimously approved a 10-year contract worth more than $100 million.
Residents, and commercial users, will first see a 6 percent rate increase through Sept. 30, 2019., “in lieu of the 15.63 percent rate increase requested by Recology,” according to the staff report. Standard 32-gallon residential service rates (the most commonly subscribed service level) will increase $1.63 per month from $27.29 to $28.92, according to the staff report. Commercial recycling services will be charged 30 percent of comparable garbage collection services as of April 1, 2019.
The new agreement, starting Oct. 1, 2019, offers a residential service base rate of $29.25 for any size bin. Commercial services at the most commonly subscribed level will decrease 0.06 percent.
The new agreement also includes two five-year contract extensions, which will have to be approved by the City Council.
Yuba City was the final local jurisdiction to approve the contract and was the only Regional Waste Management Authority member that opted to go out to bid before renegotiating a contract with the service provider – a move that was at times contentious and emotional. Last month the other RWMA members – Marysville, Live Oak, Yuba County, Sutter County and Wheatland – approved the contract, which was achieved through unified negotiations.
Other results of the Yuba City negotiation include:
• Recology agrees to terminate the city’s closure/post-closure liability and costs effective Sept. 30, 2018. This is landfill liability that contracted jurisdictions could be on the hook for, Vice Mayor Shon Harris said. Since negotiating away the liability, the city has extra money that has been allocated to ratepayers with a savings of nearly $1 every month per year.
• Recology agrees to withdraw the rate application for the final year of the current service agreement.
• The city agrees to grant Recology a 6 percent adjustment to the 2017 service rates to be effective Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019.
• During the final year of the current service agreement, the city agrees that Recology may commence charging for commercial recycling services at the rate of 30 percent of the comparable solid waste service charge effective April 1, 2019.
• The city agrees to share a recycling service coordinator with the RWMA jurisdictions.
• The new contract agreement includes all new trucks, carts and commercial containers for implementation on Oct. 1, 2019. The city agrees that the base service proposal will be amended to include commercial recycling collection charges that are equal to 40 percent of the comparable solid waste service charge on Oct. 1, 2019, and rates that are equal to 50 percent of the comparable solid waste service charge on April 1, 2020, and continue charging 50 percent of the comparable solid waste service charge for commercial recycling services through the remainder of the contract term.
Harris said while it’s no secret he was hoping for a conclusion earlier, he’s happy with the results and that rates for residents have been kept down for a year thanks to the rate stabilization fund.
“I’m definitely happy that we have finally reached a conclusion,” Harris said Wednesday. “We’re just looking forward to getting all this contention behind us and moving on.”
Dave Vaughn, vice president and senior director of business and market development for Recology, also acknowledged the lengthy process and said he was pleased to see the council’s vote.
“We’re happy to close this chapter and start anew,” he said.
Yuba City Manager Steve Kroeger said the city appreciates the service Recology has provided the community for many years and looks forward to the years ahead.
“We appreciate (their) participating over the past year in negotiating this very important contract that will provide solid waste services for the next 20 years for the community,” he said.