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Santa Barbara County Staff to Recommend MarBorg Industries for Trash Contract

Board of Supervisors will weigh in Tuesday on the multimillion-dollar agreement

Santa Barbara County staff announced Thursday that they plan to recommend MarBorg Industries for a coveted multimillion-dollar trash contract in the eastern Goleta Valley. The county Board of Supervisors will take up the matter Tuesday.

The county is divided into five trash-hauling zones, and supervisors have said that a minimum of two companies must be working countywide. They revised the county’s solid-waste ordinance last year to provide for no fewer than two haulers, a move they said would encourage competition.

The area known as Zone 2 covers the unincorporated eastern Goleta Valley, north of Highway 101. Currently, the eight-year contract costs the county about $16 million. Zone 4 represents a $30 million contract, and Zone 5 costs $35 million. Combined, the service contracts are among the largest the county deals with, said Mark Schleich, deputy director of the county Public Works Department.

Supervisors directed staff in 2009 to look at options for zones 2, 4 and 5. Contracts in all three zones will expire in June.

Ultimately, the staff put the zones out to bid to Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara, MarBorg Industries and Waste Management. The companies came back with 11 proposals, but staff said MarBorg scored highest for Zone 2, and Waste Management for Zones 4 and 5. Rates are expected to decrease by a minimum of 10 percent, although the actual rates will be determined later this spring.

Schleich said price wasn’t the only thing that county staff looked at when considering the proposals. Quality of service and innovative diversion programs also were among the criteria.

In Zone 2, MarBorg ranked highest in three of the categories, while Allied beat both of the other companies in terms of cost.

Other jurisdictions will be watching the county’s move Tuesday. The Santa Barbara City Council voted last week to postpone its decision to hire a trash consultant until after the county supervisors vote on their process.

Santa Barbara has been divided into two zones for trash collection since 2003. Allied Waste Services holds the contract for the western portion of the city, and MarBorg Industries holds the other.

If the county awards the contract to MarBorg, Allied Waste would have only the western portion of Santa Barbara.

The Board of Supervisors meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Board Hearing Room of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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