In the face of three complicated proposals to include organic materials like scraps of food in its recycling service, Oceanside City Council decided last week not to select any of them and instead extend the existing waste disposal contract to further explore its options.
The most common residential service, picking up a 64- or 96-gallon container, would increase more than $ 10 per month to around $ 34 in 2024. The single biggest reason for the wage hike is a new federal law, Senate Act 1383, which mandates recycling of organic waste from 2022.
Some Oceanside councilors said the planned expansion was too early and too much.
“Nobody seems to take into account the fee payer and the effects on him,” said Councilor Peter Weiss at the city council meeting on Wednesday.
He and Councilor Ryan Keim said they thought the proposed services were excessive and that recycling of organic matter could be achieved at a lower cost. The council also had questions about how companies deal with contaminated materials such as food-contaminated paper or plastic-coated paper, which the companies dealt with differently or set different limit values.
Remaining or spoiled vegetables, meat, bones, bread and other food from households, restaurants and businesses will be diverted from the landfill starting next year and a large part of it will be used for compost or for the production of renewable gas. Cities failing to meet the deadline could be fined up to $ 10,000 and lose the ability to apply for government grants to fund collection and recycling facilities.
Increased recycling and monitoring aims to reduce the amount of material that ends up in landfills. Organic matter in landfills is a major contributor to greenhouse gases such as methane, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
The companies that have submitted proposals are: Waste Management, which has been collecting Oceanside’s residential and commercial waste for 40 years; Republic Services, which operates the Palomar reloading station in Carlsbad, which is a transshipment point for waste and recyclables from Oceanside; and Agri Service, which has operated the El Corazon composting facility in Oceanside for 25 years.
Agri Service is an independent processor of organic materials and a subcontractor for waste management. However, a city evaluation committee, which looked at all three proposals, recommended Agri Service because of its higher cost and limited services. The company could continue its services in El Corazon as a subcontractor or other arrangement with the city.
Waste Management and Republic are both national companies with similar 10-year contract proposals. Waste management would cost the city $ 41.3 million annually, up from $ 40.9 million for the republic.
The city pays approximately $ 22.9 million annually under the current waste management contract. Keim and Weiss both said they wanted a better explanation of why the proposed treaties are so much more.
“I’m still a little unclear what we’re paying for,” said Keim. “How much do we spend on public relations and education?”
Weiss had similar questions and asked why the proposals included a provision to help some private customers collect trash from their side or back yards. The service would be made available to people with disabilities for free and to others for a fee.
State law “does not oblige you to send the garbage collector into people’s backyards,” said Weiss.
Some of the suggestions, such as helping with the carts, came from community surveys, Mayor Esther Sanchez said. Part of the cost is due to the additional containers and trucks needed to expand the service.
Weiss filed a motion to continue the city’s current contract with waste management and city workers to work with the company to meet the minimum requirements of state law. In the meantime, the city will gather more information on the proposals and present them to a council meeting in December.
The council voted 3-2 in favor of Weiss’ proposal, while Sanchez and Christopher Rodriguez opposed it. Sanchez and Rodriguez both backed the republic’s proposal, saying they would offer more services for the money.