Solid Waste Collection Contract Updates

In February 2018, the Newcastle City Council directed staff to negotiate a new solid waste collection contract with Waste Management. The move comes as the city’s 10-year contract with the hauler is set to expire in mid-2019.

This webpage will offer updates and resources through the process, when available.

COUNCIL APPROVES SOLID WASTE COLLECTION CONTRACT (JULY 17, 2018)

After a thorough review, the Newcastle City Council approved a new 10-year solid waste collection contract with Waste Management. Under the new contract, the majority of customers will see a decrease in their rates, while all Newcastle residents and businesses will receive an improved level of service.

New Services

The new contract includes year-round, weekly collection of yard/food waste for all residential customers. All residents currently receive garbage and recycling services, but those who subscribe to yard/food waste collection pay an extra fee. That changes under the new contract. Every-other-week recycling collection remains unchanged.

Additionally, Waste Management will provide a kitchen container to all requesting customers. The bin gives residents a convenient tool to easily collect food scraps and decrease the amount of garbage going to the landfill.

Customers will receive new collection bins from Waste Management. Uniform collection bins will lower costs for residents due to increased efficiency and safety for waste haulers. Cart colors will change and be the same as in other cities the company serves. 

As part of the agreement, Waste Management will install and manage six public garbage/recycling stations that are solar compacting in the city’s downtown area. The company also has agreed to increase its sponsorship of the city’s summer events to $15,000 annually.

Local businesses will also see an increase in service with the addition of unlimited, embedded recycling services.

Rates

The majority of residential customers will see a decrease in their collection rates. Rates continue to vary by container size, but based on current rates, customers who currently subscribe to yard/food waste collection would see lower costs. Those who do not currently subscribe would see a rate increase, but it would come with the new embedded yard/food waste service.

The Newcastle City Council also approved an 8.49 percent street/administrative fee that will be added to base collection rates and serve as an additional city revenue source to offset costs associated with the weekly wear and tear the collection trucks put on Newcastle streets. The fee will generate about $150,000 in new revenue annually. Even with the fee, the majority of residential customers will see a decrease in their rates.

As councilmembers noted during the meeting, residents will have the chance to see additional savings should they choose to change the size of their containers.

ResourcesResidential Rates | Commercial Rates 

*Note the rates listed at the links above assume an 8.5 percent street/administrative fee. The City Council approved an 8.49 percent fee, so the rates will be slightly lower.*

Resources: Solid Waste Collection New Contract(Director Jeff Brauns’ July 17 presentation) | Comprehensive Garbage, Recyclables and Compostables Collection Services Contract (A copy of the 10-year contract) | Solid Waste Collection Contract Updates (Webpage with background on the contract process)


PREVIOUS UPDATES

July 13: The Newcastle City Council will continue discussing a proposed solid waste collection contract with Waste Management during next week’s July 17 meeting. View the meeting agenda packet, which includes a copy of the proposed contract, here.

July 3: The Newcastle City Council got its first look at the details for a proposed solid waste collection contract with Waste Management at the July 3 meeting. In a presentation to the City Council, Public Works Director Jeff Brauns shared the proposed rates and service changes outlined in the contract. 

Under the new proposal, the majority of customers would see a decrease in their rates, while all Newcastle residents and businesses would see an improved level of service. View contract details as outlined in a previous story here.

The City Council took no action on the proposal, other than to direct staff to bring back information on how rates would change if the city moved to every-other-week garbage collection like Renton. Staff will bring back those numbers at a subsequent meeting and the council will continue discussion on the contract.

The direction came after Director Brauns gave councilmembers a rundown of other agencies’ waste collection rates. Many of the listed cities have situations that are not comparable to Newcastle’s — Renton customers, for example, have lower rates, but their garbage is collected only every other week.

The Newcastle City Council also discussed a street administrative fee but took no action at this time. If incorporated, the fee would be added to base collection rates and serve as an additional city revenue source to offset costs associated with the weekly wear and tear the collection trucks put on Newcastle streets. The majority of residential customers would still see a rate decrease if the council chooses to implement the fee.

Resources: New solid waste collection contract (Director Brauns’ presentation) | Additional information about the proposal (Meeting agenda bill)

June 29: The Newcastle City Council will get the first glimpse at details for a proposed solid waste collection contract with Waste Management during next week’s July 3 meeting. In a 6 p.m. study session, the City Council will go over proposed rates and service changes outlined in the contract. The discussion will continue into the regular meeting after 7 p.m.

Under the new proposal, the majority of customers would see a decrease in their rates, while all Newcastle residents and businesses would see an improved level of service. The City Council will discuss details of the proposal, but will not make a final decision until it directs staff to bring forward the contract at a subsequent meeting.

Learn more about the proposal here.

April 17: Contract negotiations are under way with Waste Management. An initial meeting was held on April 3 to discuss contract terms. With the exception of the annual rate escalator and minor insurance provisions, we are in agreement with all other aspects of the contract. A meeting to discuss rates is scheduled for April 27. Waste Management has expressed total confidence that they will be able to meet our final deadline of May 31 to have a completed contract proposal for City Council review. (As seen in the April 17, 2018, City Manager's Report)

BACKGROUND

In an effort to bring faster rate relief to customers, the Newcastle City Council directed staff to negotiate a new solid waste collection contract with Waste Management at the Feb. 20 meeting. The move comes as the city’s 10-year contract with the hauler is set to expire in mid-2019.

Negotiations with Waste Management will begin immediately, with an eye toward implementing new rates and enhanced services by the end of the year, several months earlier than if the city elected to go with a new hauler. Newcastle’s current rates were established by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee, rather than being directly negotiated or competitively bid. Moving away from this structure under a new contract will likely result in lower rates for customers.

Over the next few months, city staff will negotiate new contract language and collection rates with Waste Management. Staff members also plan to discuss a variety of service enhancements, including Waste Management-provided kitchen food scrap containers for residents, recycling and yard waste collection frequency, an expanded curbside recyclables list and embedded yard waste and recycling services for all single-family customers. View the staff PowerPoint presentation here for more information on planned service enhancements and alternatives.

Directing renegotiation was one of two viable options the council considered. The other avenue, procuring a new contract through a request for proposals, would offer more uncertainty, delayed rate relief and significant staff time. Councilmembers noted the city could still turn to this alternative, should the need arise during negotiations with Waste Management.

MORE INFORMATION

- City Council Meeting Roundups with information about the solid waste collection contract process: Jan. 16, Feb. 6Feb. 20

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