A publc hearing to discuss extending the contract between the El Dorado Hills Community Services District and El Dorado Disposal Services for trash and recycling pickup has been set at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, at the CSD pavilion.
The matter consumed over an hour of the marathon four-hour November board meeting held last Thursday night.
Waste Connections, headquartered in Folsom, does business locally as El Dorado Disposal, and has wanted to update and extend the contract since 2008. The old contract, which everyone involved agreed was way out of date, runs through June 30, 2015.
It allowed rate increases to be considered every two years. The last increase was in 2008. The current proposal freezes the new rate for two years.
The contract extension will result in a slight reduction in the base rate, which for most residents will be offset by a $1.49 monthly fee, $1 for seniors, to participate in the RecycleBank program, which provides credit redeemable at local merchants for recyclables, which will still be picked up at the curb.
Including the optional recycle banking charge, the new trash pickup fee is between $1.19 and $1.30 higher every two months.
El Dorado Disposal spokesperson Sue Farris told the board that most El Dorado Hills families could realize $15 – $20 per month in savings from the program, which would also increase diversion of recyclables from the landfills.
The CSD is planning a media campaign and accompanying town hall meeting in January to educate residents on RecycleBank.
Board President Noelle Mattock was concerned that the proposed Cost Price Index would automatically drive future rates, whereas the current contract requires El Dorado Disposal to request rate increases.
Director Justin Masters, who sits on the Franchise Committee, questioned the math behind fuel surcharges rolled into the base rate.
Waste Connections CEO Ron Middelstaedt lobbied hard for RecycleBank participation in El Dorado Hills to be automatic, with an “opt out” option, rather than requiring each home to opt in.
Middelstaedt, an El Dorado Hills resident and local youth sports activist, argued that the contract extension and opt-out option lets El Dorado Disposal invest in the new truck technology necessary for the RecycleBank program. Each truck must weigh the recyclables.
The CSD will continue to earn a 5 percent franchise fee.
El Dorado County is in the process of mapping out a long-term strategy for solid waste and recycle collections on the west slope over the next 50 years. In August, outgoing General Manager Wayne Lowery told the board the county’s plan would likely result in a joint powers group for all the solid waste franchise holders on the Western Slope, and the proposed amendments to the CSD’s franchise agreement would not prohibit participation in a Regional solid waste JPA.
County Director of Environmental Health Geri Silva asked the board to delay their decision on renewing the contract until at least next April, when the county’s solid waste disposal plan is due.
District 1 Supervisor John Knight was also present and concerned that provisions in the new contract might hinder the district’s participation in a county-wide solid-waste plan.
Middlestaedt countered that the agreement lets the district join a JPA, and, he said, “The standardization of solid waste disposal is impossibility. El Dorado County doesn’t even have mandatory garbage service; 38 percent of this county has no trash pickup. Trying to hook El Dorado Hills to El Dorado County is a mistake.”
The board can opt to extend the contract after the hearing on the 29th. The contract, including an overview presentation by El Dorado Disposal, and analysis and recommendations from the acting general manager Sandy Kukola and the former general manager, Lowery, can be found on pages 141 thought 218 of the “current board of directors regular agenda meeting packet” at www.edhcsd.org/board_of_directors.html.
Proposed new trash fees, including enrollment in RecycleBank
|Service Level||Current rate with fuel surcharge||New 2 month rate with RecycleBank||Senior rate with RecycleBank|