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San Ramon contracts with new waste services provider

Cost to increase 30 to 45%, amount of waste going to landfill will decrease

San Ramon residents may expect to see some changes to their garbage rates by the end of the year, as the city fully transitions to its new waste services provider, Alameda County Industries (ACI).

The new 15-year contract with ACI is set to begin on Oct. 1, with new rates to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

New rates will vary depending on the type and amount of garbage service each customer subscribes to, but information presented at past City Council meetings have indicated that residents can expect increased costs of 30-45%.

“We believe that ACI offers the most environmentally-conscious and comprehensive level of service for San Ramon residents and businesses,” said Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager David Krueger. “San Ramon is committed to be as ‘green’ as possible and ACI will provide more services that reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill each year.”

With the knowledge that San Ramon’s contract with its current provider, Waste Management of Alameda County (WM), is set to expire on Sept. 30, the City Council selected ACI to fulfill its needs after months of discussion and review during publicly held meetings.

According to a statement released by city officials, factors contributing to the rate increases include “higher labor costs, increased recyclables processing costs and reduced revenues from the sale of recyclables due to Chinese import restrictions, and new services required by state regulations.”

All waste service providers that applied to serve the city offered significantly higher garbage rates than residents are currently paying.

One of the council’s biggest justifications for the selection of ACI was the vastly superior diversion rates the company offered -- a top priority for San Ramon residents according to a survey conducted by city staff.

According to city officials, by 2029 ACI will be able to divert 90% of all waste collected away from landfills and into recycling centers. By comparison, Waste Management only offered 67% diversion rates by that year.

Significant changes and additions San Ramon residents can expect to see include:

*A new color coded system, all customers will receive new bins, blue for recycling; green for compost and organics; and gray for garbage that will be sent to a landfill.

*Larger items, such as furniture and kitchen appliances, will now be accepted on neighborhood clean-up days.

*ACI employees will also recover reusable items such as clothing, sports equipment and toys on neighborhood clean-up days.

*ACI will provide food scrap and food-soiled paper recycling services for all customers.

*An annual drop-off event will be held for the collection of organics, electronics, fluorescent lights, batteries, reusable items and other recyclables.

*Two compost give-away events will be held each year.

All current San Ramon solid waste, recycling and organics services, including the three neighborhood clean-up days per year, will continue under the ACI contract. Current WM drivers will also have the option to continue working in San Ramon for ACI.

For additional information and ACI and upcoming new garbage rates, residents are encouraged to visit the information webpage set up by city staff.

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