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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 10:46 pm | Fog/Mist 53º


Santa Barbara Council Approves New Recycling Contract with County

Vote clears the way to outline new terms after an earlier agreement lapsed last year

The Santa Barbara City Council approved a contract Tuesday for the city to continue sending recyclables to the county Recycling & Transfer Station.

Santa Barbara, Goleta and unincorporated areas use the county to get materials to Gold Coast Recycling, which then processes and sells the materials. Revenues from sales are shared by the three agencies, and any residual waste from the commingled recycling goes to the Tajiguas Landfill.

Santa Barbara had an agreement with the county since 2009, but it lapsed in June 2010, so Tuesday’s 4-2 approval vote will outline the terms of a new one.

There is a two-year lag on payments from the county, so the city is just now getting paid for 2009’s profits. The issue of a year’s notice to break off the agreement and automatic renewal worried council members, and they ultimately approved the contract with the caveat that it is reviewed every year.

“Our waste is gold — it’s worth money,” Councilman Grant House said.

Two council members were tempted by the unsolicited offer Republic Services sent to the city this month to pay $550,000 upfront and transfer recyclables to the Del Norte Regional Recycling & Transfer Station in Oxnard.

Rates fluctuate as the economy and demand for recycled materials change, but Republic Services offered a guaranteed rate for the next year.

City Finance Director Bob Samario said the offer had too many uncertainties, especially since Republic Services’ contract to operate Del Norte will expire in February. Without a contract extension, the company would have to find another facility, and the city most likely would need to find another processor a year from now.

Samario said said the city could be “sort of left in the lurch.”

Republic Services’ Stephen MacIntosh, general manager of Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara before its last local contract was sold to MarBorg Industries, said the city should issue a request for proposals for its solid waste contracts, and that his offer could prevent the probable rate increases in October.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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