Bellevue customers could gain new options for garbage and recycling services when the city implements a new collection contract in 2014. The City Council on Monday directed Utilities staff to pursue several changes based on feedback from customers and services available in neighboring jurisdictions.
The city's current 10-year contract with Republic Services for collection of garbage, recyclables, yard debris and organic waste, will expire in June 2014. Because it's a critical city service that affects nearly all residents and businesses, staff have been preparing for months to solicit competitive proposals that will yield the best value for customers. Among the changes being considered are:
- Expanded customer service and billing, including online account management.
- Promotion of food waste collection for multifamily and commercial customers, similar to services provided to single-family customers.
- Unlimited commercial recycling at no extra charge. Currently, businesses in Bellevue must pay an additional fee when recycling more than 150 percent of their garbage container volume. The city is considering unlimited recycling for no additional fee (it would be included in the base level of service) for commercial customers, a change designed to encourage more recycling and less garbage, and to bring the commercial sector in line with the residential sector.
- A new single-family rate structure where the price per gallon of garbage collected is the same for all customers. For example, the monthly cost of a 32-gallon cart would be half as much as a 64-gallon cart; currently, 69 percent of residents are at or below the 32-gallon size. Rate impacts for individual customers would depend on the size of their garbage container. The goal is to encourage waste prevention and recycling, with customers downsizing their garbage carts. Both the current rate structure and the new alternative will be included in a request for proposals so that the city can compare the impacts on rates.
The next step in the process will be to incorporate Monday's comments from the council into a request to solicit proposals, including costs, from interested haulers. The new contract will go into effect at the end of June 2014.
Council agenda memo
Feedback: Susan Fife-Ferris, Manager, Communications & Environmental Outreach, Utilities Department, 425-452-5216 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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