At the regular Yucaipa City Council meeting on May 23, Burrtec Waste Industries Director Richard Nino was available to address the council regarding Yucaipa Disposal 2021 annual report, solid waste rate adjustment, annual single-family residential property tax roll billing for FY 2022-2023 and household hazardous waste collection agreement.
Assistant City Manager Jennifer Crawford said the solid waste committee includes Councilmembers Greg Bogh and Bobby Duncan, city staff and Yucaipa Disposal.
Crawford said as discussed in the past two years, “SB 1383 is expensive. It will impact both residential and commercial customers in our community and throughout the state of California.”
Termination of CDSDP
The solid waste committee recommended staff notify the County of San Bernardino to terminate its participation in the Comprehensive Disposal Site Diversion program as the ultimate goal of the program was to capture divertable materials at the landfill.
Crawford said, “We cannot control self-haul, non-franchise commercial loads and roll-off loads that go to the landfills so when a lot of cities didn’t have their recycling programs C and D programs (construction and demolition) and other type of local recycling programs, we partnered with the county of San Bernardino to collect it at the landfill.”
Recently, the city was informed that all self-haul and roll-off loads that bring commingled recycling (concrete, drywall, wood) all in one load, are still being charged a $12 per ton fee and Crawford said the material is being landfilled due to unavailable labor at the landfill.
In addition with new legislation, CalGreen and SB 1383 minimum diversion at the landfill with local programs that are now in place and cost-saving benefits to self-haul and trash roll-off loads, the solid waste committee recommends terminating Yucaipa’s participation in the CDSDP program which was the first recommendation on the agenda under this item.
The council voted 5-0 to terminate this contract. E-waste to be discontinued “Since incorporation, the city has contracted with the county to administer our local Household Hazardous Waste collection program and hold one HHW e-waste collection event here,” Crawford said.
For the last several years, years, it was held at the Equestrian Center. The annual cost was approximately $29,000. Crawford said that didn’t include any staff time in terms of city staff or public works staff setting up, tearing down or working in the event.
With a lot of residents not wanting to hold on to the e-waste or electronic waste for the entire year and taking advantage of the county-run Redlands Collection Center and the San Bernardino Airport Collection facility that are both open weekly, staff requested the county present two contract options for the council to consider.
The council voted to approve a contract with the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District to operate and manage the collection and disposal of household hazardous waste for a total contract amount of $262,115, which would save $166,413 in overall contract costs.
Disposal annual report Nino highlighted key information in the annual report, and said a noticeable highlight was the improvement in the recyclable commodities market. This was severely impacted five to six years ago stemming from the changes in China’s importation policies with residue trash and contamination. As those markets were shut off from the world, it caused a ripple effect within the commodities market such that the entire paradigm for recycled collections shifted.
Materials that were once available to offer a credit in the rate, there was now a cost. Senate Bill 1383 program will now include a new dynamic which is the food waste recycling in the residential sector.
Organic wastes include food, green material, landscape and pruning waste, organic textiles and carpets, lumber, wood, paper products, printing and writing paper, manure, biosolids, digestive and sludges. Jurisdictions can select from a variety of organic waste collection services to match its unique communities and local infrastructure, while producing clean streams of organic feedstock that can be recycled into high-quality, marketable recycled products including compost, renewable natural gas, electricity and paper.
Materials to be placed in the blue recycling container are completely empty aerosol cans, aluminum cans, brochures, cardboard, cartons, cereal boxes with no wax paper lining, coupons, envelopes, glass bottles and jars, junk mail, magazines/catalogs, newspaper, paper, paper tubes, phone books, plastic containers, plastic milk jugs, styrofoam products, tin cans, wrapping paper.
“The 1383 implementation is coming with organic recycling, organic separation and more importantly above and beyond that, the proper separation of all materials in all containers,” said Nino.
New rates Regarding the new rates, three options were presented to determine the Residential Rate Adjustments which includes food waste and recycling to be implemented by July 1.
The council voted on Option I – Implementing all standard increases, however, the rates are remixed to apply the same percentage increase of 6.2% on all three-barrel services resulting in a 15-gallon rate increase of $1.07 (from $17.14 to $18.21), 30-gallon rate increase of $1.42 (from $22.74 to $24.16) and a 60-gallon rate increase of $1.92 (from $30.72 to $32.61.) All other options were presented at a higher rate increase.
Residents will be asked to bag their food waste and deposit it in the green container with the green waste. The bag food waste will be separated from the green waste at an organics processing facility, cleaned and reintroduced at a specific ratio with the green waste to make compost and/or mulch.
Nino said the organics recycling will be an adjustment for the residents and next year there will be a second adjustment to this process.
Property tax roll
The council also voted to request the County of San Bernardino to place collection of costs for single-family residential solid waste, green waste and recycling services for FY 2022-2023 on the County of San Bernardino property tax roll.
“With 1383, there’s a very intensive administrative aspect of it which includes tracking and monitoring, documenting the implementation record, a procurement and purchasing requirement that will be quite the imposition on city staff and the city,” Nino told the council.
Nino said Sacramento is really keeping an eye on the program to see “what cities are doing the right thing and marching towards compliance, to identify those that are not and address those accordingly.”
Nino said they are trying to meet the minimal requirements of the state to mitigate cost and cost impacts to the ratepayers. Council comments Councilmember Jon Thorp asked about the education process that is being given to the public to make sure the residents have enough time to comply as he has been receiving questions from his constituents in his area that are asking for more information.
Nino informed the council of all the outlets that are being used to get the word out.
Mayor Pro Tem Justin Beaver said, “I said it before and I’m going to say it again, I think enforcement is going to be extraordinarily difficult for whomever is tasked with that. Whether it be somebody with Yucaipa Disposal or somebody with the city and good luck to Cal-Recycle with imposing any type of punitive means. Quite frankly there’s not going to be any way, that I see, that we’re going to be able to track and truly enforce with the traditional term of enforcement, whether or not somebody is complying.”
Beaver said, “Once I put that trash can on the curb, I have no control over what happens to it. I’ve said it before, we have a municipal code that strictly prohibits going through waste containers once they’re out on the street.”
Duncan said, “It’s fascinating to me that I’m living in a fairytale land now where trash and separating trash is so important. We’ve actually had discussions about cameras on the trash trucks to make sure the trash is adequately separated and I think that is fascinating.”
Mayor David Avila asked, “To follow up on Mayor Pro Tem’s comments, how are you going to monitor and enforce those who choose to not comply with the mandates, especially with the organic waste?”
Nino answered there were two means that are provided for in the regulation. Waste evaluations where random samples of the various waste streams that are representative of the residential community at large, contain it and deliver it to a location where they will do a study to test for excessive contamination.
In the commercial or bin service sector, the company plans on flipping lids and actually looking in the container to see what’s there.
Bogh said, “I think it is important to note that we actually sit through a committee hearing. We go through every one of these little items and it’s a deeper explanation and it’s open to the public. Anyone that wants to come in and I invite them to come in and they can sit down and we can go through each portion of the rates. It’s no problem. It’s completely open and there’s nothing secretive about it.”
Mayor Avila said the council was in a position that they don’t look forward to but there was no other option.
During public comment, Yucaipa resident Randy Allen commented on the presentation Nino gave the council and public. “I’d like to invite him down to my house to pick up all the grass clippings and trash that I have to pick up when their drivers sling that barrel back off of the truck,” said Allen. “We’re talking about a rate increase for a company that does not provide what I call great service. They came in here several years ago and cried and whined about money not being collected from the residents, the city council awarded them a contract of putting it on the property taxes. Which is fine. They’ve come back every year requesting a rate increase and the city council always grants it for them. At some point in time they need to tighten their belt like we do in the general public because inflation is biting all of us in the rear end.”
Allen concluded, “I would just like to ask two things of the city council: 1) Deny them this rate increase and any future increases in this year of 2022; and 2) I’d like to see the city put out a contract bid for other collection companies just like you do other city contract bids. Why do they have a monopoly on this?”
Council voted in favor, 5-0, on all of the six areas. For more information on recent recylced laws, visit the Yucaipa Disposal, Inc. website at www.calrecycle.ca.gov/climate/slcp.