Jul 8 2018

First Weeks of the New Republic Garbage Service Contract

Piedmonters begin their first waste pickups under the new Republic Service contract — How is it going?

There are residents complaining and surprised over the higher fees for less service – only 2 bulk pickups per year – giant leap in charges for backyard services.

On Monday, July 2, some Piedmonters had their first garbage pickup under the new terms of service with Republic Services.  Prices increased to the new rates as follows:

Curbside Collection:

  • 20 Gallon Garbage Cart – $79.84 per month
  • 35 Gallon Garbage Cart – $84.60 per month
  • 65 Gallon Garbage Cart – $116.55 per month
  • 95 Gallon Garbage Cart – $130.52 per month

On-Premises (Backyard) Collection:

  • 20 Gallon Garbage Cart – $122.17 per month
  • 35 Gallon Garbage Cart – $126.93 per month

Bright new blue Republic trucks collect the waste. Some citizens have observed blue & green bin contents blended.

The City Council gave extensive consideration prior to granting a new 10 year exclusive franchise contract with Republic Services for Piedmont waste collection.  The City Administrator recommended hiring an outside consultant to learn from Piedmonters what they sought in a new contract and meetings were held to take public input.

In the end, despite the expense of the outreach to residents and production of a refined collection specifications, only one contractor bid on Piedmont’s waste collection, Republic Services, Piedmont’s long term collector.  Some speculated the bid specifications and solicitation for bidders had been inappropriate. City staff noted, in particular,  Piedmont’s desire to retain an option for On-Premises (Backyard) had screened out at least one provider.

Comparisons were made to other cities fees, and Piedmont’s new fees are significantly above others.

There are California cities making waste collection part of their municipal services, as streets, Fire and Police.  Property taxes, which are generally deductible, depending on Federal tax laws, can cover the cost of the waste collection rather than a separate non-deductible fee. The Piedmont City Council decided to increase the collection fee and did not pursue a tax deductible option.

The new fee covers more than each individual customers services: it pays for extensive services to the City and Schools.

The increased fees are impacted by novel items not found in other cities contracts:

  • Individual property waste collection fees cover all of Piedmont’s waste collection needs at no cost to the City –  debris, office waste, festivals, street cans, etc.
  • Individual property waste collection fees cover all of the waste collection needs and costs at Piedmont public schools.
  • A reduced rate for those unable to move their carts to curb requires  City staffing newly assigned to provide the application process.
  • An education program for schools and community to reduce waste, particularly waste going to landfill.
  • High franchise fee paid directly to the City of Piedmont.

To learn more about Piedmont’s waste collection contract, use the “Search” link on the left side of this  page and type in “Republic,” ” Recycling,” or “Garbage. “

5 Responses to “First Weeks of the New Republic Garbage Service Contract”

  1. We first experienced the new service an rates on Monday July 2nd. We qualified for backyard collection at curbside rates. Today was our second experience and everything went fine. The rate increase is a shocker and a significant annoyance because of the fact that the individual property owners are paying for the school, police, fire and administration waste collection. The idea that those freeloaders will “reduce waste” because I am paying for it is laughable on the face of it.

  2. Piedmont residents are being ripped off. Whose idea was it for residents to pay for garbage generated by City government and the School District? City staff who proposed this have failed in their responsibility to the residents, and Council members who voted for it have failed in their representation of voters. I hope the voters remember this at the next election.

  3. Piedmont residents should have a voice in this. My rates went up 52%. I for one am not interested in subsidizing the City’s waste collection. Maybe the solution is to vote out those council members responsible for this.

  4. Piedmont residents had ample opportunity to voice their displeasure with the direction the garbage contract negotiations were headed. This website has had abundant and well researched coverage. I wrote letters and spoke before Council on this two years ago but virtually no one else did. The City followed the Brown Act in noticing residents. Yet the first Town Hall meeting had only 3 residents.

    While I am unhappy with the process and ridiculously increased cost, I speculate that if the City had reasonably modified the RFP there would have been more bids and in particular one from Waste Management. A reasonable curbside rate could have been had and a tiered backyard increase would have been appropriate for those wishing backyard service. When the initial RFP produced the one bid from Republic, the City’s answer was to have a closed door Council sub-committee that left the RFP and single bid intact.

    The City cited legislation in a manner that is not customary elsewhere by Piedmont specifically disallowed backyard service at curbside rate for seniors. This senior discount was characterized as “common” by the City’s own consultant.

  5. The new rates are outrageous. Obviously Piedmont did not negotiate a good contract.

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