The November 2012 adopted revisions to the code encompass more sustainable and equitable practices that promote the best use of solid waste resources and minimize residential customer fee changes. The adopted revisions cover several programs across several operational areas including collections, special projects and transfer stations.
The Public Works Department conducted customer outreach between May 2012 and September 2012 to obtain feedback on proposed solid waste ordinance changes. Outreach included: social media (Facebook and Twitter), email, newsletters, and postings on the city’s website. In addition, approximately 6,000 notices were distributed at the city’s two transfer stations, along with 132 letters that were mailed to customers with established transfer station credit accounts.
A total of 369 survey responses were received. Overall, responses were positive and residents supported revisions to the solid waste ordinance. Examples of the results collected include; 93 percent of respondents who “Agree-Strongly Agree” with charging an additional fee to customers who set their containers out late and then request special collection; 63 percent of respondents “Agree-Strongly Agree” with developing a reduced fee schedule for collecting clean vegetation for diversion from the landfill waste stream.
Based on feedback from residents and an internal review of existing Solid Waste programs, changes to the ordinance are as follows:
- Implement a go-back collection fee for residents who set their curbside containers out late for collection and then request a special collection. Residents are allowed one courtesy collection per year without charge.
- Implement disposal requirements for bed bug prevention and ban scavenging of potentially infested material from bulk trash piles and provide monitoring and enforcement.
- Adjust citation authority for illegal dumping to allow civil or criminal prosecution and provide monitoring and enforcement.
- Implement an option to provide residential specialized collection for customers that generate waste in excess of .50 cubic yards of waste at any given time.
- Eliminate the commercial small load (flat) fee at city transfer stations and replace it with a per ton rate. This change will result in all commercial customers paying the same per ton gate rate for transfer station disposal.
- Reduce the minimum disposal fee charge and consolidate the existing uncovered load fees.
- Provide residential solid waste customers one free transfer station load per month (up to 2,000 lbs or one ton).
- Create a discounted transfer station rate for customers who register in a clean green certification program, which requires pre-sorting of approved clean vegetation for diversion from the landfill waste stream.
- Modify bond requirements for commercial charge accounts that includes consideration of past payment history for commercial customers.
- Chapter 27 changes also include ordinance language clarifications and additional solid waste definitions.