- San Diego’s City Council voted unanimously Monday to extend contracts of the 11 trash companies that simultaneously operate in the city until 2023. San Diego is the largest city on the West Coast that still operates its trash services with multiple companies driving along the same streets, according to Voice of San Diego.
- Part of the agreement that extends the contracts is that the private haulers will recycle half of the trash they collect by 2020 to support the city’s Zero Waste Plan and its Climate Action Plan, and overall boost recycling.
- The city auditor recommended replacing the collection system with zones, where one company picks up trash in each zone to increase efficiency, save wear and tear on city streets and, ultimately, save money. City officials will examine the auditor’s recommendation to switch to a more streamlined system for the future. The Environmental Services Department hopes to make final recommendations on a new system in the summer of 2017.
Private haulers are happy with the current set up, and the city is aware of this.
"We feel like we’ve got a great system that works," Elmer Heap, the public-sector manager at Waste Management, told the City Council Monday.
In search of a happy medium, San Diego is leveraging the contracts in exchange for support in reaching for its recycling goal.
"We know the haulers, if we just say we’re going to put all these additional requirements on you and no additional time, we know they’re definitely not supportive of that," said Ken Prue, manager of the city’s recycling program.
But consideration of the most efficient way to get the job done from a money, time, and gas usage perspective is always an issue in trash collections. So San Diego will have another look at other options in a year and a half.