This week in City Council’s Committee session the staff presented a summary report of the main issues raised during the public information sessions in consideration of going to a single trash hauler in the City. At the end of the discussion Council voted 5:1 to authorize staff to proceed with the conversion to a single trash hauler. Before any action is actually taken, City Council will need to vote on the issue again and pass a resolution at their May 20th meeting. Here’s the details on this week’s meeting.
If you’d like to see all the history of this proposal, go our Managed Trash web site.
TRASH BID UPDATE 5/8/09
City Council asked the staff to go back and summarize the comments from the 2 public meetings and do more research to try to address the main issues. Sixteen issues were identified as common points of discussion and the staff presented them in a summary report. Click Here for Summary Report
One of the main points of interest was a cost concern for the bag service price. Originally the per bag bid price (for the buy the bag level of service) was higher than the going rate so City Council asked us to see if we could negotiate the price per bag down to be competitive with current market rates.Each bag costs $1.85 so if you’re able to stretch your trash to one bag every 4 weeks that’s only $1.85 per month or if you can make it last 2 months it’s still only $1.85. Either way, you essentially control your cost, and honestly you can’t find a cheaper cost than $1.85 for trash anywhere.
The current going rate for bags in 2009 at ACME and Giant Eagle is $2.15 per bag or $2.29 after tax. The City’s original bid price for the bag service was $2.40 per bag which we figured equated to $4.80 per month since most people probably use 2 bags per month. But remember, you control the cost based on how many bags you use, and if you’re able to get by with one bag per month your cost would have been $2.40 per month.
I say your cost would have been $2.40 because we have actually negotiated a lower price. We went back to the trash hauler and said how can we lower the bag cost for our residents. He said that a significant part of his price was the cost of ordering and delivering the bags to retail outlets for sale. The hauler said that if the City would assume those duties the price to the City would be $1.50 per bag. We then calculated a cost for adding a city logo to the bag and handling the bags for sale at City Hall for a total revised cost of $1.85 per bag. That works out to be 30 cents less than the 2009 market rate per bag (44 cents after tax).
With the revised cost (of $1.85) every trash customer in Kent would save money under the new trash system. We think going to a single hauler has a lot of other quality of life in the neighborhoods kind of benefits but I realize that people will ultimately judge this based on the impact on their bill and we are now able to save people anywhere from $5 per year to $80 per year.
It’s important to remember that under the City contract, residents will be given the option to choose what type of service they want. Right from the start we told the trash bidders that they have to offer the same different levels of trash service that people can get today. That’s why we have a range of prices – a price for a buy the bag option, a price for a 60 gallon can, 90 gallon can, unlimited, etc. So if you like the incentive system of paying based on what you set out, you’ll still have that option with the buy the bag service. Your neighbors though might choose 60 gallon or unlimited. The City is just trying to leverage the aggregate number of customers citywide to get the best price possible for residents for every service level.
There’s always going to be some bugs to work out but for the amount of money we can save people and for all the neighborhood benefits we think the idea has enough merit to at least give it a try. Council will take a final vote on Wednesday, May 20th and if approved there would be a 6 to 9 month transition period.