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Meeting Date: July 22, 2008

Subject/Title: Accept an informational report on solid waste public outreach to improve diversion as identified in the Solid Waste Enterprise Management and Operations Review.

Prepared by: Jon Carlson, Solid Waste Manager
Chris Ehlers, Deputy Director of Public Works

Submitted by: Bailey Grewal, Director of Public Works/City Engineer

Accept an informational report on solid waste public outreach to improve diversion as identified in the Solid Waste Enterprise Management and Operations Review.

On November 13, 2007 by Resolution No. 2007-243, Council adopted the Solid Waste Enterprise Management and Operations Review for the Solid Waste Transfer Station Improvements - Phase III, CIP Project No. 542-54020.

In 1989, Assembly Bill (AB) 939 was passed, mandating cities and counties to recycle over 50% of their waste stream by the year 2000. Between 2000-2006, the City of Brentwood has averaged a 53% recycling rate, diverting 51% as recently as 2006. The City has achieved these results due in part to the implementation of numerous recycling programs, including providing curbside recycling and yard waste recycling, offering free cardboard drop-off and offering construction and demolition recycling options to developers.

In 2006, the City contracted with a consulting group to conduct an operational review of the Solid Waste Enterprise. The study noted the Solid Waste Enterprise was “operationally efficient and well managed.” The study identified improving the City’s public outreach programs to focus on the largest commercial customers thus maximizing diversion and reducing contamination in refuse material.

One of the State of California’s approaches to increase recycling rates of aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers includes the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) “Curbside Supplemental Payments.” This program is operated similar to other grant programs where funds collected from the state’s bottle deposit program (California Redemption Value, (CRV)) are redistributed back to the operators of curbside recycling programs. These funds assist in both operational and educational efforts that further help increase the recycling of cans and bottles. Examples include, supplying additional recycling containers, as well as increasing public outreach and providing educational materials.

The City of Brentwood’s Curbside Supplemental Payment is based on the volume of recycled aluminum, glass, and plastic reported by the City’s processor each year to the state. Based on those reported volumes, the City received $17,904 for 2005, $24,855 for 2006, and it is estimated that the 2007 Curbside Supplemental Payment will be over $25,000.

The annual DOC Curbside Supplemental Payments are deposited into the Solid Waste Enterprise budget as revenue. Typically, the Enterprise spends the majority of these funds to supplement the purchase of recycling carts. These carts provide additional recycling capacity to customers, diverting material that would otherwise go into the landfill. This helps maintain the best rate for refuse disposal at the landfill and increases revenue from recycling.

In response to the Operations Study, City staff has been working to improve commercial recycling programs. The Solid Waste Enterprise’s largest commercial customer is the Brentwood Unified School District (BUSD). City staff has met with and interviewed school district faculty to begin a comprehensive review of the BUSD’s recycling program and identified ways to improve diversion and recycling rates.

The BUSD made a significant commitment toward recycling programs by installing compactors dedicated solely for mixed recyclables. City staff and the BUSD will focus efforts on education, and resources that will increase the amount of material diverted from the waste stream to reduce contamination.

City staff intends to educate the BUSD’s administrative and janitorial staff, and most importantly, the students, through on-site assemblies on the benefits of recycling. The assemblies will incorporate sustainable themes, such as recycling, water conservation, and what goes down the drain, education. The goal is to teach kids about recycling programs so what they learn at school can be practiced at home and help the City, school, and environment.

The Solid Waste Enterprise will provide in-class recycling containers, and dual-cart collection push carts, to assist with the collection and transfer of material to the recycling compactors. Additional items may be provided to promote recycling programs such as, pencils, rulers, and other educational material.

The City will benefit from the success of this enhanced recycling effort at the BUSD on many levels. Increased recycling awareness at local schools translates into improved recycling at school and at home, both now and for future generations. Pending the anticipated success of this outreach to the BUSD, it is staff’s intent to expand the program to include businesses and residences within the City of Brentwood.

Acceptance of the informational report does not have a fiscal impact.
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