Apr 9 2017

Garbage and Recycling Pickups to Change

Seniors will be required to move their carts to the curb unless they pay an additional fee.  Waste services for City of Piedmont and Schools will continue  to be paid with resident fees. – 

At the March 3, 2017 Council meeting, the City Council agreed to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new waste collection provider.  The current waste collector, Republic Services of Richmond, had told the City they wanted an increase in the fees.  Hence, the City hired a consultant, contributed hours of staff work, held community meetings, and approved the RFP, which allows further negotiations with the City.

Seniors – 

Seniors will be required to pay an additional charge based on distance from cart locations to the curb and any change in elevations.  Individuals certified to be unable or disabled to transfer carts to the curb will not be additionally charged.

Piedmont’s RFP does not include a senior exemption in the RFP, because Piedmont’s attorney, Michelle Kenyon, advised that State laws do not allow the City to give preferential treatment to seniors requiring other ratepayers to cover their extra service.  As has been presented to the Council and City Attorney, numerous other cities do not require seniors age 62 and over to haul their carts to the curb. Presumably, when cities first started requiring carts to be placed at the curb, consideration was given to seniors who enjoyed backyard service at the same rate as all others, who enjoyed rates reduced by placement of carts at the curb.

The City and Schools are provided free service through the fees Piedmont residents pay.  

Concern was expressed that the Schools do not recycle all of their waste, harming Piedmont’s recycling goals.  Communication with the schools was mentioned in the discussions.

Recycling is threatened by a reduction in the number of carts provided at no additional charge.

Piedmont’s current contract allows unlimited recycling.  This is likely to change with a new contract based on an additional charge for additional carts.  It was suggested residents will place recyclables in their black can rather than pay for additional recycling carts.

Bulk pickups are reduced in volume, but will remain at 4 per year.

More money will accrue to the City through an additional franchise fee on the waste collection provider as well as annual Service Rate Adjustment payment  and Performance Review Payment.

The funds to cover the many new tasks assigned to the City through the contract are not clearly identified or known.  New tasks, include arbitrating rates, determining distances and elevations in regard to backyard rates, and certifying those who are disabled or unable to place carts at the curb. Oversight of the collector will be necessary.

Many Piedmonters have expressed pleasure with Piedmont’s current level of service.  Others have questioned the high fees currently charged.

Despite many iterations and considerations, the RFP appeared open ended and available for negotiations making it impossible to know at this point what the ultimate result will be.

Comments may be sent to the Council via either kjackson@ci.piedmont.ca.us. or jtullock@ci.piedmont.ca.us..

Readers may also send their comments to editors@piedmontcivic.org for publication or enter below.

One Response to “Garbage and Recycling Pickups to Change”

  1. I find it odd and inconsistent that Piedmont finds a senior exemption of backyard service at curbside rates contrary to State law as many Municipalities have this exemption. In Marin County Almonte, Alto, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Homestead, Marin County, Mill Valley, Strawberry and Tiburon provide exemptions for backyard service at curbside rates for (1) any age 70 Senior on signature alone that requests the service and (2) any disabled person with a doctor’s letter. The City of Berkeley has the same two exemptions and lowers the qualifying age to 62 and does not require a doctor’s letter for the handicapped exemption (form and code attached). City of Albany has both a disability exemption and an age 62 low-income discount exemption (see attached p 7). Santa Clarita has an age 60 low-income discount exemption (see attached p 7). No doubt there are many more California cities with an age based senior exemption of backyard service at curbside rates.

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