By Kathy Lee Scott/Garden Grove Journal
Public Works Director Keith Jones saved Garden Grove residents $1.25 on their monthly garbage bill in a new contract with Garden Grove Disposal. Instead of hiking the trash rate, the company agreed to leave it the same for a year.
Following Fullerton’s lead, Jones asked, and got, more freebies from the trash hauler as well.
The Garden Grove council unanimously approved the new agreement at its Tuesday meeting. “This is a good contract,” said member Bruce Broadwater.
Under the revised deal, the garbage company will haul away trash from city facilities free, as well as provide free bins for city events, like holiday celebrations. It will take over billing for its service from the city and provide information in English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese on the telephone and in its printed materials.
The city saves about $408,000, plus it gets an additional $1.36 million in annual franchise fees from the vendor, Jones said. The fees can’t be passed onto the customers, according to the agreement.
In exchange, Garden Grove Disposal, an entity of Republic Waste Services of Southern California, has exclusive rights to collect trash throughout the city from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2024.
“We can now do some future planning,” said Rick Collett, general manager. The company wants to expand its Anaheim facility, he added.
For the next 14 years, the residential garbage rates will remain the same, except for an annual consumer price index increase up to a maximum of five percent, to begin in 2011. A standard cost for three portable trash cans (one regular waste barrel, a green-waste and one recycling barrel) is $19.66 per month. Additional regular or green waste cost extra; more recycling barrels are free.
“Garden Grove Disposal won’t recoup the landfill costs,” said Jones. Orange County raised its dump fees to $29.95 per ton effective July 1.
Commercial customers won’t fare as well. Their rates will rise between 5.6 percent and 11.2 percent, depending on the frequency of pick up and size of bin(s).
The trash company will reimburse the city $140,000 a year to administer the agreement, with each fiscal year after 2011 adjusted, based on the CPI. “It covers staff time for audits and to check over reports for the state,” Jones said.
Garden Grove Disposal already contributes $40,000 a year to various Garden Grove groups. It upped its total to $60,000 each year: one-third toward the city’s community programs, another third to the Garden Grove Community Foundation, plus the last third that the city can use as it deems best. The total amount would be adjusted by the CPI annually.
“We’re partners with the city,” Collett said.
Under the revised contract, the trash hauler kept a program offering a discount to about 300 disabled or low-income seniors. Eligible customers pay 15 percent less than the standard rate.
A new feature includes the garbage men rolling out the barrels from a resident’s yard and returning them after emptying. Disabled residents can ask for this free service, which requires a physician’s statement that the resident can’t handle the 96-gallon, wheeled garbage cans, and no one else at the house can, either..
Now, residents can request a free bulk-item pickup three times a year, one more than before. Garden Grove Disposal agreed to take e-waste as part of those items. This is in addition to its free, annual holiday-tree collection after Christmas.
In the contract are clauses that mandate new talks if the state requires other specialized collection programs, such as separate pickups of medical needles, grease and food waste.
“This brings our contract up to date with what others have,” said Jones.