Monday, November 12 , 2018, 3:54 pm | Fair 74º


Goleta Council Approves Expanded Trash Contract with MarBorg

The deal is expected to bring savings for the city, reduced rates for customers and enhanced services

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday approved a contract negotiated with MarBorg Industries that will replace existing trash-collection services set to expire this year.

The new contract, to take effect July 1, will result in savings for the city, reduced rates for ratepayers, enhanced collection services and increased efficiency, according to a city staff report.

“We bring a contract to you that provides service enhancements to you citywide,” MarBorg business manager Derek Carlson said.

Currently, the city’s trash-hauling services come from two haulers — MarBorg, which traditionally handled waste services south of Hollister Avenue, and Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara, north of Hollister Avenue.

In an effort to even out services across the city and to benefit from savings, the City Council a year ago instructed staff to negotiate a single-source contract with MarBorg, a longtime local trash hauler, to replace Allied Waste’s contract, which expires in June. But the new contract also replaces the ongoing MarBorg contract, set to expire in 2019.

Among the benefits of the new contract are unlimited biweekly recyclables collection, unlimited collection of green waste and additional recyclables cans at no extra charge.

Rates also will be reduced for local customers, equaling an average 20 percent reduction annually for single-family residents and an average of 22 percent for multifamily residences. Commercial rates will drop as well, by an average of 5 percent. Steve Wagner, the city’s community services director, said the estimated savings would total $700,000 per year.

“Even if it wasn’t a competitively bid process, we were able to get a reduced rate guarantee,” he said.

Other services will include battery collection, home sharps collection, and unlimited collection of electronic waste and appliances, as well as free public waste collection and emergency response communication services.

City revenues stand to increase by an estimated $135,000 annually.

Most of the public comments on Tuesday praised MarBorg for its quality of service and commitment to the community. The packed chamber was full of MarBorg employees and supporters, as well as some people from Allied Waste and members of the community.

Stephen MacIntosh, general manager for Allied Waste, defended the proposal his company submitted to the city — one that, while unsolicited, he thought was more competitive in the area of waste diversion and cost savings. He also decried the city’s move to sole-source negotiate with MarBorg.

“First and foremost, we believe in competition,” he said, adding that the monopoly that would be created by allowing MarBorg to take the whole city would be detrimental in the long run.

Earlier in the day, through a competitive bid process, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors awarded MarBorg its contract in the unincorporated Goleta Valley, leaving Allied with only a portion of Santa Barbara as its territory. Taken together, the losses for Allied will result in millions of dollars in contracts and about a third of its local workforce, although MarBorg operations manager Brian Borgatello alluded to the need for a few more workers to maintain its expanded operations.

“The decision today is not based on the quality of service,” said Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell, who is an Allied Waste Services customer. “What we have before us ... is an excellent deal.”

Even Councilman Ed Easton, who once opposed the sole-source negotiations in favor of a competitive bid process, said he was pleased with the outcome.

In the coming months, city staff, MarBorg staff and Allied Waste staff will engage in a transition process as the new contract takes effect.

Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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