Waste Well – New Waste Hauler and Organics Recycling

On February 22, 2022, the City Council approved a new 10-year agreement with EDCO Disposal Corporation (EDCO) for solid waste collection services. The contract award was the culmination of a nine-month search for the City’s next waste hauler as the City’s current contract with Waste Management expires June 30, 2022.


The competitive search included the issuance of a request for proposals for collection services as outlined in the City’s proposed franchise agreement. The City’s evaluation team consisted of City staff, an expert consultant hired by the City, and a Council-appointed subcommittee of Mayor Worden and Councilmember Quirk.


Three companies submitted proposals: EDCO, Republic Services, and the City’s long-time waste hauler, Waste Management.


The evaluation team reviewed the three proposals and checked references from other cities that currently use those haulers. Interviews and facility site visits were also part of the evaluation process. The interviews and site visits were key because each hauler took a different approach to meet the City’s requested scope of services in terms of the collection, transportation, and processing of Del Mar’s various waste streams.


In the end, the evaluation team found that EDCO was the most qualified and provided the lowest cost to Del Mar’s ratepayers. 

An EDCO truck delivers a load of green waste for the anaerobic digester. Photo by Dwight Worden.

The team was impressed with EDCO’s investments in local recycling and organics processing facilities, particularly their new anerobic digestion facility in Escondido. That facility will process Del Mar’s organic waste (green waste commingled with food waste) into renewable natural gas that will power Del Mar’s collection fleet – a tidy, closed-loop system! Having those facilities close to Del Mar contributed to EDCO being able to offer overall lower rates than their two competitors.


EDCO proposed another truly unique collection solution for Del Mar; smaller, lighter two-axle collection trucks powered by renewable natural gas to better navigate Del Mar’s narrow streets and tight trash enclosures.


Food waste recycling starts July 1.


Senate Bill (SB) 1383 is a state mandate upon cities to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) through a 50% reduction of organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025. The State estimates that organics like food waste and yard trimmings make up half of what Californians dump in landfills. To comply with SB 1383, EDCO will implement a comprehensive diversion program beginning July 1, 2022, including commingled organics collection, public education, monitoring, and reporting. For the first time, residents will be required to put their food waste into their green waste cart. Commercial customers in Del Mar will also be required to recycle or donate their food waste.


Diverting this material from the waste stream and treating the organic material as a resource rather than waste, keeps methane-producing materials out of the landfill and supports the State and City’s actions to fight climate change. 

EDCO will take over service beginning July 1. More information about the change in service providers and new services will be shared by EDCO and the City over the next four months.

Steve South (EDCO CEO), Kristen Crane, and Clem Brown. Photo by Dwight Worden.
Part of the anaerobic digester. Photo: Dwight Worden
The anaerobic digester produces biogas, which can fuel EDCO's trash trucks. Photo: Dwight Worden.
The anaerobic digester includes two enormous green tanks. Photo: Dwight Worden
Another part of the anaerobic digester. Photo: Dwight Worden
What remains, after the anaerobic process is complete, is brown matter which goes to a farm for ground cover. Photo: Dwight Worden
A handful of the brown matter that remains after the anaerobic process is complete. Photo: Dwight Worden