July 2011 home page

  Less Trash More Cash
Dan Nore | 25th Street and Fred Duttweiler | Luzon Avenue


Two Adults One Puppy One Week and 32 Gallon Can.
Photo Dan Nore


Where’s My Incentive to Reduce?
Del Mar will have three significant “Trash Choices” in the coming ten months thanks to the efforts of the Del Mar City Council and staff, the Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB), and involved residents. First, Del Mar will need to select a waste management company that is fiscally responsive and aligned with the City’s Zero Waste goal. Second, City residents need to support an environmentally responsible change in the way the City manages and charges for waste services (trash, recycling, and yard waste). Lastly, assuming residents support change, individually we all need to choose a trash container rate tier consistent with our weekly volume of trash.

Del Mar has been served by the same waste management company for over 25 years, and has not significantly updated its franchise agreement or collection services in the past 15 years. At the direction of City Council, City staff issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on May 5th, and invited all regional waste service companies to respond. The RFP outlined a waste management program that would allow Del Mar to join the ranks of other responsible California communities and catch-up with successful waste diversion efforts at the Fairgrounds. Proposal responses are due on July 21st. We are hoping that all May 19th pre-bid conference attendees (Allied Waste, Daily Disposal, EDCO, Express Waste and Recycling, Tayman Industries, Ware Disposal, and Waste Management) submit outstanding proposals for consideration. The selection of a provider is expected September 12th.

The next “Trash Choice” rests with the residents of Del Mar: Do we move forward with a new responsible way of managing our trash? California voters passed Proposition 218 in November 1996. Prop 218 requires local governments to have the approval of affected property owners for any proposed new or increased assessments or fees. The City intends to submit the new waste management program to a Prop 218 approval process. It is our hope that Del Mar residents carefully consider the benefits of managing and reducing the volume of trash sent to landfills.

Del Mar residents have a final “Trash Choice” assuming the majority of residents are willing to accept change. Each household will need to select a container size under the “Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT)” system (32 gallon; 64 gallon; or 96 gallon). An informal City review of other communities with PAYT programs suggests we’ll see rate structures offering 30-40% savings by limiting household trash to 32 gallons or less, and 40-50% premium for households generating as much as 96 gallons. It is our hope that households will reduce trash levels and realize lower trash fees. July Utility Service statements showed a monthly rate of $37.82, the current charge for up to nine 32 gallon trash cans. We’ll get specifics on rates and PAYT tier differences in September.


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