This evening, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a 10-year agreement with EDCO for solid waste collection services for Del Mar, with a start date of July 1, 2022.
Waste Management, the City’s waste hauler for 35 years, will end its Del Mar service on June 30. Republic Services also submitted a bid, but was effectively out of the running based on significantly higher costs.
Waste Management’s bid scored lower than EDCO’s on both of two separate scores: the first based on proposed rates; and the second based on qualifications, with criteria including safety record, customer service experience, financial stability, technical proposal, diversion and sustainability accomplishments, personnel, transition experience/plan, litigation history, and requested exceptions to the draft agreement.
Based on these evaluations, City staff found that “EDCO’s proposal demonstrated the highest overall qualifications, and the lowest overall proposed rate revenue charged to ratepayers, offering the greatest overall value to the City.”
RATES: The three bids (EDCO, WM, Republic Services) were evaluated based on their total proposed annual rate revenue, derived by multiplying the customer rates proposed by each proposer by a standard mix of customer and container information in several service sectors. Each bidder also provided customer rates for each type of service.
Total Annual Rate Revenue: Overall, that produced these annual rate revenue figures: EDCO: $1,898,700; WM: $2,090,000; Republic Services: $2,433,600. The lowest number is most favorable to the City, since it represents the amount paid under the agreement by all customers.
Individual Customer Rates: Rates for individual customers vary based on cart or container size and type of service (residential, commercial). All bids were expected to have rates higher than current rates, because of the new state mandate with respect to recycling food waste, which imposes higher costs on the solid waste hauler, and that turned out to be the case.
For residential customers, rates depend on cart size (with one gray bin for trash, one blue bin for recycle, and one green bin for food and yard waste/organics). For example:
The largest cart size, 96 gallon, currently costs $26.64/month. EDCO’s rate: $29.95; WM’s rate: $31.03; Republic’s rate: $47.20. The medium-sized cart, 64 gallon, currently costs $23.99. EDCO’s rate: $28.95; WM’s rate: $27.59; Republic’s rate, $42.51.
The smallest cart size, 35 gallon, currently costs $18.94/month. EDCO’s rate: $24.95; WM’s rate: $22.41; Republic’s rate: $33.56.
Staff pointed out that in addition to the 3-cart pricing, each bid proposed costs for additional carts, and these extra cart costs favored EDCO.
Commercial rates showed the greatest variations between the three bids, especially for recycling, currently $42.15; EDCO’s rate: $115.35; WM’s rate: $187.76; Republic’s rate: $198.82. See the Staff Report for fuller details on commercial rates.
YOUR FOOD WASTE WILL SOON FUEL YOUR TRASH TRUCK: July 1 is also the date Del Mar will begin curbside pickup of food waste and other organic materials, to be placed in the green bin along with yard waste, to comply with state law (SB 1383). This law was designed to significantly reduce methane emissions from organic waste in landfills; methane is a powerful greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
EDCO has a state-of-the-art anaerobic digester facility in Escondido to process food waste, yard waste, and other “green bin” materials. The anaerobic digester process captures the methane from these materials to create renewable natural gas, which powers EDCO’s collection trucks.
…AND YOUR TRASH TRUCK WILL BE SMALLER, LIGHTER, AND NEAR ZERO EMISSION: Also rated favorably by the City’s evaluation team was EDCO’s proposal to use a new fleet of smaller, lighter, two-axle collection trucks with Near Zero emission engines for its Del Mar service, resulting in less wear and tear on the City’s streets and lower overall vehicle emissions.
NO WORKER LEFT BEHIND: EDCO will offer jobs to all of Waste Management’s workers who work in Del Mar, at comparable pay and benefits; WM workers accepting the offer will be credited with the seniority they have accrued while working for WM. Thus, residents may find that they have the same workers picking up their trash and recycling, even when the service provider changes from WM to EDCO.
KEEPING IT LOCAL (Should Your Food Scraps Travel to Arizona?): Also worth noting is that Waste Management’s proposal for Del Mar’s food waste and other organic materials, as submitted in its formal bid packet, was to truck it to Arizona for processing. That’s roughly a 300-mile travel adventure for your lowly food scraps, compared to approx. 20 miles to EDCO’s anaerobic digester in Escondido. And trucking organic waste to Arizona seems at odds with rationale for recycling this material in the first place, which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Earlier today, Waste Management filed a Red Dot for the City Council meeting, saying, “We are in the process of finalizing a partnership agreement with a composter that is located in North San Diego County…” This not-yet-finalized deal was not likely something that could be considered by the Council, in awarding a contract pursuant to a formal bidding process.
All solid waste companies were on notice, from the day in 2016 when Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1383 into law, that diversion of food waste from landfills would become mandatory in 2022. EDCO made a significant investment in its Escondido anaerobic digester facility; Republic Services (the third bidder for Del Mar’s contract) created an all-solar compost facility in Chula Vista, some 35 miles from Del Mar. Waste Management has not yet created a comparable facility in San Diego County, putting it at a disadvantage with respect to providing SB 1383 compliance for Del Mar under the new contract.
NEXT STEPS: The City will initiate a legally-required notification process and schedule a public hearing on May 16, 2022, to establish the City’s solid waste collection service rates effective July 1, 2022.
EDCO will begin an elaborate process, detailed in its proposal, to work with the City, Waste Management, residential and commercial customers, its vendors, and others in an effort to have a seamless transition of services from WM to EDCO on July 1. This will include public education and outreach (mailers, community meetings, workshops, site visits to multifamily units, etc.), launching its Displaced Workers program to hire WM workers who wish to continue working in Del Mar, pickup of WM carts/bins and delivery of EDCO carts/bins, a field audit and confirmation of routes, training drivers to learn their routes, and much more.