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New Garbage & Recycling Contract FAQs

garbage truck

HOLIDAY GARBAGE COLLECTION SCHEDULE: 

There is no garbage collection on Christmas Day or New Years Day.  During those weeks customers with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday garbage service will have service one day later.  Wednesday customers will have their containers serviced on Thursday; Thursday customers will have their containers serviced on Friday; Friday customers will have their containers serviced on Saturday. Please put your carts out at the curb for collection the night before.

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 how ACI was selected and why garbage  rates are increasing in 2020, please e-mail SRSolidWaste@sanramon.ca.gov

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

The City and ACI are aware that some of the lids on the new blue recycling carts have the wrong label.  ACI will be replacing the mislabeled lids as soon as possible.  The label isn't a sticker, it is molded into the lid, so the whole lid will have to be replaced.  You will receive a mailer with further information as to how and when your lid will be replaced.  Until then, please place your recyclables in your new blue cart and your garbage in your new gray cart.   Instructions as to what goes into each cart can be found in the brochure that was delivered in your food scrap kitchen pail, and on ACI's website.  

All residents will receive a new food scrap recycling pail.  Tips on how to recycle food scraps can be found here.  If you do not currently have an organics cart, you will receive a small, 20-gallon one.  This is a new service for most condos and townhomes in San Ramon.  California law will require the City to provide organics collection services to all residents and businesses.   More information on the small green cart program can be found here.  

New Services Provided by ACI :

  • Organics recycling (including food scraps and food soiled paper) for all customers 
  • Kitchen food scrap pails 
  • New color-coded, labeled carts 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 
  • Used cooking oil recycling 
  • Two compost give-away events per year 
  • One recycling drop-off event per year
1. Why did garbage rates go up with the new contract?

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

  • Increased Labor Costs.  Actual driver labor costs increased faster than garbage rates over the term of the current franchise agreement, so the garbage rates were due for a “market correction” at the end of the contract so that garbage rates could reflect the change in labor costs. 
  • Restricted Contamination Levels for Exported Recyclables/Historically Low Recyclables Commodity Revenues. China’s new restrictions on recyclables imports has increased processing costs and diminished the worldwide market for recyclable materials/commodities.
  • State Regulations. New State regulations (SB 1383) require increased organics recycling, color-coded containers, and new container labels.
2. Will my garbage rate change?

Garbage rates will not change until January 1, 2020.  They will not change when ACI begins service on October 1, 2019.  ACI will charge the 2019 garbage rates for October through December 2019.

For most customers, garbage rates will increase on January 1, 2020. The amount of the increase will vary depending upon the amount of garbage service you subscribe to. Recycling and Organics services are included in the rates and do not incur an additional cost.

Rates are based on the size of your 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 single-family residential customers are shown in the chart below:

2020 garbage rates

garbage rates

Garbage rates will be adjusted annually each January 1 thereafter, based upon rate setting methodologies included in the contract.  For most customers, the rate increase from 2019 to 2020 will be larger than any other potential rate increase during the term of the contract.  The 2020 rate increase represents a one-time adjustment for the new contract and any annual rate increases after 2020 are anticipated to be much smaller.

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. To view all residential rates please visit: www.sanramonrecycles.com/residential/rates/. 

If you live in a condo, townhome, or apartment, your rates may be different than those shown in the chart above. Below are links to the complete sets of rates for 2019 and 2020.  This includes the Small Green Cart Rate, commercial, multi-family, compactor, and roll-off box rates.

3. Who is ACI?

ACI has been providing garbage, recycling, and organics collection services since 1997.  ACI currently provides collection services for the cities of San Leandro and Alameda, and will begin providing service to the Castro Valley Sanitary District May 1, 2019.

ACI is a locally-owned private company.  ACI shares common ownership with other Tri-Valley solid waste and recycling companies, including Pleasanton Garbage Service, Amador Valley Industries (in Dublin) and Livermore Sanitation.

ACI will provide service to the City of San Ramon from their administrative offices, truck yard, recycling and transfer facility, and call center located in San Leandro.

ACI’s website is www.alamedacountyindustries.com.  Note that the services/programs that ACI provides vary between their different service areas. See answers to the other questions below for a description of the City of San Ramon’s new service/collection program with ACI.

14. Will ACI pick up household hazardous waste and electronics?
Existing household hazardous waste and electronics programs, such as curbside motor oil collection, will continue.  See www.sanramon.ca.gov/HHW for existing programs.  In addition, ACI will accept electronics on neighborhood clean-up days and at the annual recycling drop-off event mentioned above.  Previously San Ramon had a contract with a subsidiary of Waste Management (separate from the garbage contract) to provide on-call, doorstep collection of household hazardous waste and electronics from San Ramon residents.  Waste Management discontinued that program at the end of 2018.  ACI does not offer a household hazardous waste collection service at this time.  The City is planning to replace that program with a similar collection program or an annual household hazardous waste drop-off event.  We will provide residents with more information once the replacement program has been selected.   
15. Will my garbage rate change?

Garbage rates will not change until January 1, 2020.  They will not change when ACI begins service on October 1, 2019.  ACI will charge the 2019 garbage rates for October through December 2019.

For most customers, garbage rates will increase on January 1, 2020.   The amount of the increase will vary depending upon the amount of garbage service you subscribe to.  

The 2019 and 2020 garbage rates for single-family residential customers are shown in the chart below:

Rates

Most single-family customers currently subscribe to the 35-gallon garbage cart service.  Residents are billed quarterly for three months of service.

Rates are based on the size of your garbage cart. If you are able to recycle more you may be able to reduce your garbage service and avoid a significant rate increase in 2020.  Note that rate for 20-gallon-per-week garbage service in 2020 is $33.65 per month and the current rate for 35-gallon-per-week garbage service is $32.20 per month.

Garbage rates will be adjusted annually each January 1 thereafter, based upon rate setting methodologies included in the contract.  For most customers, the rate increase from 2019 to 2020 will be larger than any other potential rate increase during the term of the contract.  The 2020 rate increase represents a one-time adjustment for the new contract and any annual rate increases after 2020 are anticipated to be much smaller.

If you currently have paperless billing with Waste Management, that will continue automatically with ACI.  However, if you currently have autopay with Waste Management, that will not automatically continue.  Please go to the ACI website  www.sanramonrecycles.com - or call ACI at 925-380-9480 - if you want to sign up for autopay with ACI.

If you live in a condo, townhome, or apartment, your rates may be different than those shown in the chart above. Below are links to the complete sets of rates for 2019 and 2020.  This includes the Small Green Cart Rate, commercial, multi-family, compactor, and roll-off box rates.

>>Click here to view 2019 Rates<<

>>Click here to view 2020 Rates<<

When comparing 2019 rates to 2020 rates, commercial and multi-family customers should consider that starting in 2020 there is no longer a separate charge for the hauler to push/pull bins in and out of dumpster enclosures, up to 25 feet in one direction.




16. Why did garbage rates go up with the new contract?

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

a. Increased Labor Costs.  Actual driver labor costs increased faster than garbage rates over the term of the current franchise agreement, so the garbage rates were due for a “market correction” at the end of the contract so that garbage rates could reflect the change in labor costs. 

b. Restricted Contamination Levels for Exported Recyclables/Historically Low Recyclables Commodity Revenues.  China’s new restrictions on recyclables imports has increased processing costs and diminished the worldwide market for recyclable materials/commodities.

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

17. How can I minimize my garbage bill?

Most customers can minimize their garbage bills by decreasing the amount of garbage service they subscribe to. By recycling more, many customers should be able to decrease the size of their garbage containers and/or the frequency of garbage collection and reduce their overall bill.  

Studies have shown that only about half of San Ramon residents are currently recycling their food scraps and food soiled paper (paper plates, paper napkins, paper cups, pizza boxes, etc.) and that local landfills are still receiving significant quantities of those materials.  Therefore, many San Ramon customers may be able to reduce their garbage service and lower their bills by recycling their food scraps and soiled paper products.

18. What was the solid waste RFP process? How were residents and businesses involved?

The table below outlines the solid waste RFP process, including City efforts to obtain input from residential and commercial customers and to provide public information.  Note that all Finance Committee and City Council meetings, and the City Council Workshop were noticed, public meetings.

Milestone

19. Can I get a copy of the City’s contract with ACI?

The contract (Franchise Agreement) between ACI and the City of San Ramon can be viewed Here