Trash Franchise Extensions Deadline Pushed To July

(November 27) Burrtec Waste Industries’ hold on its position as San Bernardino County’s primary refuse hauler may have slipped yet further last week when the county board of supervisors acceded to the county’s solid waste management division’s request that it be given an extension on the time it has to notify the companies that hold trash hauling franchises in 20 service areas in unincorporated areas of the county that it will terminate those arrangments and put the contracts out to bid
At the dawn of 2013, Burrtec was the undisputed leader of trash handling companies in the county. It held a twelve-year running contract for managing the county’s  landfill system in addition to being the franchised trash hauler in 16 of the county’s 24 incorporated cities. In addition, it had the trash hauling franchises in 34 of the county’s unincorporated communities. It had solidified that hold over the years by virtue of being a leading donor to the political campaigns of county as well as municipal elected officials in the region.
In April, however, after a competitive bid process, the company lost its $17 million per year contract to run the county’s landfills, being eclipsed by Los Angeles County-based Athens Services.
It has since moved to consolidate its hold on its existing contracts, all of which are already protected by “evergreen” clauses, which extend those franchise contracts automatically for a given set of years. In most cases those contracts are locked in for at least five years and in some cases for as long as ten years per the evergreen arrangement.
In the case of the franchises for the unincorporated county areas, those contracts are locked in for eight years, meaning that upon notification of the county’s intent to put the franchise contract out to bid, Burrtec will keep the franchise for eight more years.
Earlier this year, county public works director Gerry Newombe became concerned about the terms of service  contained in the trash hauling franchise contracts in the county’s unincorporated communities, in particular with regard to income haulers are now able to derive from handling and selling recyclable materials and how that income could be translated into cost savings for the haulers’ customers.
The current “evergreen” clauses with the trash hauling franchise holders allow the county to give a notice of nonrenewal during a six month period every two years. As the June 30, 2013 deadline for 20 of those franchise agreements approached, however, Newcombe was looking to instill changes into the franchise terms that had not been effectuated.
“Staff determined that changes to the franchise agreements were necessary to better serve county residents and obtained board approval to extend the notice period to January 31, 2014, while those changes were discussed and negotiated with the haulers,” Newcombe wrote in a report to the board of supervisors for their November 19 meeting.
Of the 20 franchises in question, Burrtec holds 13 of them. Though Newcombe said “Staff expects to finalize negotiations,” and “County staff and the franchised waste haulers have been working diligently since July to prepare an amendment to address these various county concerns,” he indicated he had not reached agreement with the trash haulers. “While significant progress has been made, negotiations will not be finalized in time to properly notice and conduct the required public hearing before January 31, 2014.” He requested that the board “authorize an extension from January 31, 2014 to June 30, 2014 in which a notice of non-renewal can be issued by the county to the franchised solid waste haulers.”
The board granted Newcombe’s request.
Thus, Burrtec Waste Industries’ grip on County Franchise Area 2 involving the sphere of the cities of Montclair and Upland; on County Franchise Area 5 involving the sphere of the city of Fontana; on County Franchise Area 6 involving the community of Bloomington; on County Franchise Area 9 involving the El Rancho Verde community near Rialto; on County Franchise Area 10 involving Devore and the sphere of the city of San Bernardino; County Franchise Area 11 involving the sphere of the city of Loma Linda; County Franchise Area 12 involving Mentone, Oak Glen, the sphere of the City of Redlands, Mountain Home and Angeles Oaks; County Franchise Area 16 involving Crestline, Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Green Valley Lake, and Blue Jay; County Franchise Area 19 involving the spheres of the city of Victorville, town of Apple Valley and the city of Adelanto, Landers and Lucerne Valley; on County Franchise Area 22 involving the unincorporated area northwest of the City of Adelanto; County Franchise Area 23 involving the sphere of the city of Barstow and Lenwood-Hinkley; County Franchise Area 24 involving  Yermo, Daggett and Newberry Springs; and on  County Franchise Area 25 involving Joshua Tree, the sphere of the Town of Yucca Valley, and Morongo Valley is being tested as competitors will be able to enter competing proposals for servicing those areas. So too will USA Waste of California, which serves County Franchise Area 3 involving the sphere of the city of Chino; Cal Disposal Company, which provides service to County Franchise Area 8 involving  Muscoy, South Cajon Pass, and the sphere of the city of San Bernardino; CR&R Waste Services, which has contracts for County Franchise Area 15, involving the Wrightwood community and County Franchise Area 20, involving Phelan, Pinon Hills, and the sphere of the city of Adelanto; Big Bear Disposal, which serves County Franchise Area 17 involving Fawnskin, Baldwin Lake and Lake Williams; Advance Disposal Company, which serves County Franchise Area 18 involving Spring Valley Lake, the unincorporated areas of Hesperia and Apple Valley; and Benz Sanitation, which hauls trash in County Franchise Area 21 involving Trona, Windy Acres, Four Corners, and the Red Mountain all be subject to potential competition.

Leave a Reply