A group of seven appointed citizens has given its blessing to the city's plan to finish fully automating garbage collection and move toward automated, single-stream recycling, with the eventual goal of changing from twice weekly pickup to once per week.

The group, led by Lee Lichtle and guided by James Clinch, director of Public Works and Bob Moroni, solid waste and recycling superintendent, was formed to identify operational efficiency improvements, review rates and budgets, identify additional revenue sources, and make recommendations on how to accommodate growth and handle the changing recyclables market.

Called the Solid Waste and Recycling Stakeholders Group, members presented the following recommendations Tuesday to the Venice City Council, which were adopted. Here are the highlights:

RECOMMENDATIONS

Rates

Continue scheduled annual increases of 4 percent (Oct. 1, 2019), 3 percent (Oct. 1, 2020) and 1 percent (Oct. 1, 2021).

Recycling surcharge

Keep the 23 percent temporary surcharge in place until recycling processor contract issues are resolved between the county and it's processor. Review the surcharge level at least semi-annually for adjustment up or down.

Automation

Complete garbage collection automation in FY20. Proceed to full single-stream automated recycling collection as soon as possible to eliminate requirements for dual fleets.

Once per week

After citywide automation is completed (spring of 2020), switch to once per week garbage collection for residential and commercial can customers, but only after seeking additional public input. (Add a special rate of approximately $10 per month for those who sign up for a second weekly collection.)

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NEW FEES

New homes can fee

Apply a can charge for new homes/businesses only ($100 fee for one garbage cart and $100 for one recycling cart). Plus, $100 for each additional garbage and/or recycling cart.

Roll-off rates

Add a $100 delivery and relocation fee to roll-off rates and increase rates according to the same scheduled solid waste rate increases.

Hauler fee

Create a new private hauler fee for those providing the same service within city limits, estimated to bring in $75,000 in new revenues.

Impact fee

Support the recent increase in solid waste impact fees (hook up charge applied to new homes and businesses only).

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BELT TIGHTENING

Hiring freeze

Freeze the number of solid waste and recycling staff at current levels for FY2020 budget, and review again after full automation is achieved.

Weekend, holiday pickup

Recommend the elimination of Saturday and holiday collections once full automation has been implemented.

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REJECTED

Same side pickup

Considered can collection on one side of street only. Rejected due to safety considerations, city demographics and minimal operational efficiencies achieved.

Pay per throw

Rejected the idea of applying different rates based on can sizes due to it being difficult to administer and penalizing families.

Yard waste

Do not discontinue two free bulk pickups annually for yard waste per residence. Do not limit the number of yard waste paper bags or cans that may be placed outside. Ban the use of plastic bags for yard waste. 

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