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NEW GARBAGE COLLECTION CONTRACT

Alameda County Industries (ACI) is the new solid waste, recycling and organics collection and processing company for the City of San Ramon.  

For questions regarding ACI's services please contact ACI at (925) 380-9480 or info@AlamedaCountyIndustries.com . Additional information can be found at www.sanramonrecycles.com

For questions regarding how ACI was selected and why garbage  rates are increasing in 2020, please e-mail SRSolidWaste@sanramon.ca.gov or see the Questions and Answers below.

New Garbage & Recycling Contract Q & A

 

Why did the City switch garbage companies?

The City’s contract with Waste Management was expiring and Waste Management was not willing to extend their contract with the City unless they received a large rate increase. Therefore, the City conducted a competitive Request For Proposals (RFP) process for garbage and recycling services.  All four cost proposals that the City received (including one from Waste Management) were significantly higher than the 2019 garbage rates.  The City selected ACI’s proposal as providing the best combination of cost, customer service, and environmental conservation. Rates would have increased significantly no matter which proposer the City selected.  Keeping the old rates was not an option, even if the City had kept Waste Management.

Why did garbage rates go up with the new contract?

The 2020 garbage rates were determined through a competitive Request For Proposals (RFP) process. All four cost proposals that the City received for garbage and recycling services were significantly higher than 2019 garbage rates. The 2019 rates were based on an earlier RFP process that took place in 2006, and the market has changed dramatically since then. Factors that contributed to the 2020 rate increase include:

Increased Labor Costs.  Actual driver labor costs increased faster than garbage rates over the term of Waste Management’s contract, so the garbage rates were due for a “price correction” at the end of the contract so that garbage rates could reflect the change in labor costs. 

Decreased Recyclables Markets.  The revenue from selling Recyclables used to partially offset some of the costs of the entire garbage and recycling service.  However, China’s new restrictions on Recyclables imports has decreased the revenue that garbage and recycling collectors get from selling their Recyclables.  In order to meet the new, higher standards for Recyclables quality, the collectors also have to spend more money to properly separate and prepare the Recyclables for market.  The new contract factors in the Recyclables markets into the annual rate adjustment formula, so if the markets improve, San Ramon ratepayers will benefit.

State Regulations. New State regulations (SB 1383) require increased Organics recycling, color-coded containers, and new container labels.

 

Why is ACI getting a rate increase after three months of service?
Garbage rates did not increase when ACI began service on October 1, 2019. When a new garbage contract begins, any rate increase would normally take effect from the first date of service. Instead of adjusting the rates immediately on October 1, 2019, ACI agreed to delay the rate change for three months until January 1, 2020 so that San Ramon could stay on a January-December rate schedule. The new 2020 rates will remain the same for 12 months, and will not be adjusted again until January 1, 2021.
How often are rates going to increase?

The new 2020 rates will remain the same for 12 months and will not be adjusted again until January 1, 2021.   The contract allows for annual rate adjustments every January 1st of each year.  The contract limits the amount of the annual rate adjustments. 

Are rates going to go up this much every year?

No.  The contract limits the amount of the annual rate adjustments.  The 2020 rate increase is a one-time large increase at the beginning of the contract.  Large rate increases are common at the beginning of new garbage contracts.  This is because the garbage collector’s actual costs often increase faster than garbage rates over the term of the contract, so that a “price correction” is required at the beginning of the next contract.  At the beginning of the City’s previous contract with Waste Management in 2006, garbage rates increased 60%.  This time the initial rate increase will be 29% for the typical single-family home.  Annual rate increases for the rest of ACI’s 15-year contract are anticipated to be much smaller.

How much are rates increasing?

For single-family homes, the 2020 rate increase is 29%

For multi-family dwellings, the 2020 rate increase is 42%

For commercial businesses, the 2020 rate increase is 37%

 Note:  For commercial businesses and multi-family dwellings with shared garbage service the 2020 rates include bin push service up to 25 feet and back at no additional charge.  This was an extra, itemized charge in the 2019 rates, so elimination of this charge may partially offset the overall rate increase for some customers.

The dollar amount of your 2020 rate increase will vary depending upon the amount of garbage service you subscribe to.  Residential Recycling and Organics services are included in the rates and do not incur an additional cost.  Each residence paying the standard rate for single-family homes may receive up to two 96-gallon blue Recycling carts plus up to two 96-gallon green Organics carts at no additional charge.

 Rates are based on the size of your gray garbage cart. The first number of the serial number stamped on the front of the cart indicates its size:

 2 = 20-GALLON   3 = 35-GALLON   6 = 64-GALLON   9 = 96-GALLON

The 2019 and 2020 garbage rates for residents with individual garbage service are as follows:

 

Rates for Single Family Homes

Garbage Cart Size (gallons)

20

35

64

96

2019 Rates ($/month)

$26.06

$32.20

$55.57

$88.53

2020 Rates ($/month)

$33.65

$41.56

$71.69

$114.18

$/month increase

$7.59

$9.36

$16.12

$25.65

% Increase

29%

29%

29%

29%

Townhome / Condo / Small Green Cart Rates

Garbage Cart Size (gallons)

20

35

64

96

2019 Rates ($/month)

$18.62

$22.71

$38.74

$61.63

2020 Rates ($/month)

$26.53

$32.36

$55.18

$87.77

$/month increase

$7.91

$9.65

$16.44

$26.14

% Increase

42%

42%

42%

42%

The discounted Small Green Cart rates are available to single-family homes, condos, and townhomes that do not need more than 35 gallons per week of organics service and have a small (20 or 35 gallon) green cart.  These rates used to only be available to condos and townhomes but are now available to any residence with individual garbage service and a small green cart.

The complete set of 2020 San Ramon garbage rates for all types of customers can be found on ACI's website, and have also been posted on the City's website since March, 2019.

What is the Small Green Cart rate?

Residents who only need 35 gallons per week or less of Organics service will be given one 20-gallon or 35-gallon green cart and a discounted garbage rate. This lower rate used to only be available to condos and townhomes with individual garbage service.  Now it is available to all homes with individual garbage service that do not need more than 35 gallons per week of Organics service.  The Small Green Cart rates for 2019 and 2020 are as follows: 

Townhome / Condo / Small Green Cart Rates

Garbage Cart Size (gallons)

20

35

64

96

2019 Rates ($/month)

$18.62

$22.71

$38.74

$61.63

2020 Rates ($/month)

$26.53

$32.36

$55.18

$87.77

$/month increase

$7.91

$9.65

$16.44

$26.14

% Increase

42%

42%

42%

42%

 

Why is my bill three times the monthly rate?

Your bill is for three months of service:  January, February, and March.  Residents with individual garbage service are billed quarterly.

How can I decrease my garbage bill?

By properly sorting Recyclables and Organics, including food-scraps and food-soiled paper, customers may be able to decrease the amount of garbage service needed.  If you regularly have extra room in your garbage cart, you can switch to a smaller garbage cart to decrease your rate.  If you need to increase your Recyclables and/or Organics service in order to decrease your garbage service, most residents can do so at no additional cost.  Residents may have up to two 96-gallon recycling carts plus up to two 96-gallon Organics carts at no additional charge.

If you do not need more than 35-gallons per week of Organics service, you can switch to a smaller green Organics cart and receive the discounted Small Green Cart rates. 

If you have a 20-gallon garbage cart and receive the discounted Small Green Cart rate, you are already paying the lowest 2020 garbage rate available: $26.53 per month.  The City of San Ramon does not offer a senior discount, a low-income discount, or a discount for residents who do not put their carts out every week.


How do I pay my garbage bill?

For billing questions, please contact ACI at 925-380-9480 or billingSR@alamedacountyindustries.com.  You can also pay your bill on-line through ACI's website.

If you had paperless billing with Waste Management, that should have continued automatically with ACI.  If you had autopay with Waste Management, that cannot transfer automatically, and  you will have to sign up for autopay with ACI.

To sign up for autopay and/or paperless billing, please visit ACI’s website and click on the red “Account Login” button in the upper right-hand corner to set up an on-line account.  You will need your ACI account number to set up your online account.  Your account number is on your bill.  You may also contact ACI to obtain your account number.

Do we still have neighborhood clean-up days?

Yes.  ACI will continue to provide 3 neighborhood clean-up days per year, just as in the previous garbage contract with Waste Management.  You can look up the dates of your three 2020 neighborhood clean-up day here:

https://www.sanramonrecycles.com/cleanup/ 

In addition, you can now set out up to two large bulky items (60-200 lbs. each) on each clean-up day. In the last contract with Waste Management the limit was 60 lbs. per item.  ACI will also salvage materials such as clothing, books, sports equipment and toys for re-use through their partnership with St. Vincent DePaul.   

Large, bulky items set out on your neighborhood clean-up day are collected at no additional charge. You can also have bulky items picked up at any time, for a fee, by contacting ACI at (925) 380-9480. More information about neighborhood clean-up days and bulky item collection can be found here: 

https://www.sanramonrecycles.com/residential/bulky/

Neighborhood clean-up days are available to all residential customers with individual, curbside, garbage service.

 

 

What new services are included in ACI's contract?

All of ACI's services for San Ramon customers are explained in detail in their San Ramon website:

www.sanramonrecycles.com 

The list of the new or enhanced services is  as follows: 

  • Organics recycling (including food scraps and food soiled paper) for all condos, townhomes, apartments and other multi-family dwellings
  • New kitchen food scrap pails for all residents
  • New color-coded, labeled containers
  • All 3 types of carts (green, blue, gray) available in 4 sizes (20, 35, 64, 96 gallons)
  • Up to two 96-gallon Recycling carts at no additional charge
  • Up to two 96-gallon Organics carts at no additional charge (if not subscribing to the Small Green Cart rate)
  • Paper bags to collect extra yard trimmings (fee applies)
  • Unlimited curbside recycling (set out extra recyclables next to your Recycle cart in paper bags or cardboard boxes.  Stack extra cardboard flattened and cut down to pieces not larger than 3 ft. x 2 ft.)
  • Used cooking oil recycling
  • Two large bulky items (60-200 lbs. each) now accepted on neighborhood clean-up days
  • Reusable items salvaged on neighborhood clean-up days
  • Two compost give-away events per year
  • One recycling drop-off event per year
  • Recycling tote bags (multi-family residents only)
  • Multi-family and commercial customers will receive bin push service up to 25 feet and back at no additional charge
  • Multi-family dwellings with shared garbage service receive unlimited Recycling and Organics service at no additional charge
  • Commercial customers receive:
    • Up to 96 gallons per week of Organics service at no additional charge
    • Up to one cubic yard per week of Recycling service at no additional charge
    • Higher levels of Organics and Recycling service at half the cost of garbage service

 

 

 

How were customers notified of the 2020 rate increase?

Residents with individual garbage service were notified of the rate increase with a door hanger in July 2019.  All customers also received notice in their last two garbage bills from Waste Management and their first garbage bill from ACI.  The Summer 2019 City newsletter also contained the new garbage rates, as well as two articles in the East Bay Times in March and October 2019.  ACI staff and consultants contacted each commercial business and multi-family dwelling complex individually regarding rates and services.

 All of the 2020 garbage rates have been posted on the City’s website since March 2019 and the City used social media and garbage bill inserts to promote the 2020 rates and New Garbage & Recycling Contract Q & A page on the City's website. The 2020 rates are also posted by sector on ACI’s website. 

A newsletter in the January-March 2020 residential ACI bills (both paper and email) explains the reasons for the rate increase.

Are the extra trash service tags that I purchased still good?

Yes.  Extra trash service tags do not expire.  ACI will honor San Ramon extra trash service tags that say "Waste Management" on them if they were purchased from Waste Management or the City before ACI began service on October 1, 2019.

Put occasional extra garbage in your own garbage bag (up to 32 gallons), tie shut, put an extra trash service tag on it, and ACI will collect it from the curb.   ACI now also offers paper bags for extra yard trimmings.  Extra yard trimmings collected in these bags will be composted instead of landfilled.

Both the extra trash service tags and the extra yard trimmings bags cost $10.19 each starting January 1, 2020.   This covers the cost of collection and disposal of the material. The tags and bags are available through the mail by calling ACI at 925-380-9480 and over the counter at City Hall (7000 Bollinger Canyon Rd.) and the Permit Center (2401 Crow Canyon Rd.) during normal business hours.