SB 1383

R3 is currently leading a team consisting of SCS Engineers, Abbe & Associates, DKC Consulting, and Cascadia Consulting Group to provide initial planning support for RecycleMore and its Member Agencies in implementing Senate Bill (SB) 1383.

Project tasks include the following:

  • Analyze current RecycleMore organics collection programs for all sectors, including processing, and determine adequacy to support compliance with SB 1383 requirements; and
  • Provide an estimate of additional collection and/or processing capacity needed to achieve the SB 1383 requirements;
  • Analyze existing RecycleMore program compliance requirements and new compliance requirements under SB 1383, consider the listed activities under all state mandates; and
  • Provide recommendations for the most effective implementation of required activities, which include:
    • Education and Outreach;
    • Inspection and Enforcement, including the assessment of penalties and contamination monitoring;
    • Edible Food Recovery Programs;
    • Regulation of Self-Haul Sector;
    • Purchasing Policy Changes;
    • Municipal Code Updates; and
    • Container Color and Labeling Requirements.
  • Provide a recommendation and description for accurate record keeping and monitoring of recommended RecycleMore activities to determine their performance effectiveness and contribution to organics reduction.

Anticipated project benefits are enhanced compliance with SB 1383, as well as improved coordination on legislative compliance between RecycleMore and its Member Agencies.

Carlsbad - Sustainable Materials Management Plan

R3, with subconsultant Cascadia Consulting Group,  was engaged by the City of Carlsbad (City) to develop a Sustainable Materials Management Plan (SMMP). The purpose of the SMMP was to identify specific policies and ordinances, programs and services, service provider contractual requirements, and facility capacity that Carlsbad should pursue to achieve its sustainable materials management objectives. The SMMP was organized into the following three phases:

  • Phase 1) Ensure compliance with all state solid waste regulations currently in effect.
  • Phase 2) Achieve regulatory compliance with all SB 1383 regulations.
  • Phase 3) Establish sustainable materials management systems throughout Carlsbad.

Implementation of Carlsbad’s SMMP and the completion of Phase 3 will result in the following:

  1. Sustainable materials management systems in all city government departments;
  2. Sustainable materials management systems throughout Carlsbad’s residential and commercial sectors, and public areas and venues; and
  3. Establishing the city as a leader in sustainable materials management.

The SMMP’s “actions” for each of the 3 Phases are presented in the context of the following three elements of sustainable materials management systems (life-cycle phases), with the major types of actions associated with each element noted:

  1. Upstream Design and Production – Designing and producing sustainable materials and products that have high post-consumer recycled content and contain no or minimal raw (virgin) materials, have no or limited packaging, are non-toxic, and are readily recyclable.
    • Major related actions include: Sustainable Procurement, Material Bans (Product Bans) | Disposal Bans, and Product Stewardship | Take Back Ordinances.
  2. Consumption and Use – Consuming and using sustainably produced materials and products in a manner that is consistent with the hierarchy of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.
    • Major related actions include: Waste Prevention | Source Reduction, Material Reuse, and Sustainable Materials Market Development and Support
  3. End-of-Life Management – Maximizing diversion of materials and the production of post-consumer recycled content feedstock for upstream design and production of sustainable materials (i.e., closing the loop).
    • Major related actions include: Diversion Programs and Regional Advocacy and Support.

In support of city’s the end-of-life management objectives, it will need to negotiate changes to its existing collection contract and Palomar Transfer Station (PTS) operating contract, and/or draft new agreements and conduct competitive procurement processes for collection and transfer station services when the current contract terms expire. The City will also need to establish policies, enact or amend ordinances, and provide other support activities as deemed appropriate in support of its sustainable materials management objectives.

The SMMP has been well received by the City and its elected officials. The City’s planned next steps are the development and execution of a detailed Implementation Plan.

Yolo Food Bank

R3 is providing the Yolo Food Bank with assistance to support the Yolo Food Bank’s efforts to expand its capacity by 50% and assist in the development and execution of a Distribution and Sourcing Plan to secure and distribute an additional 2+ million pounds of healthy food annually.

R3’s primary tasks for this engagement are as follows:

  • Initial evaluation of the Yolo Food Bank’s programs and services, current sources of food, and its Partner Agencies’ operations, capacities and other available relevant data;
  • Operational Review of the Yolo Food Bank:
    • Assessing key aspects of Yolo Food Bank’s operations; and
    • Determining if, and under what conditions, additional capacity could be increased to more than the planned 50% capacity increase if necessary;
  • Food Sourcing Assessment:
    • Assessing the Yolo Food Bank’s current sources for food;
    • Projecting the amount of additional pre-consumer edible food in Yolo County that is currently disposed from farms, manufacturing/wholesale sources, and consumer-facing businesses;
    • Projecting the total available SB 1383 Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food, and percent of that total currently captured;
    • Developing a Sourcing Plan to secure 2 million additional pounds of food annually.
  • Partner Agency Capacity Assessment & Distribution System Assessment:
    • Assessing the capacity that exists within the Partner Agency network based on existing staffing and resources (number of additional meals per day that can be distributed if available); and
    • Assessing and documenting the geographic need within Yolo County and for each willing Partner Agency.

R3 is also assisting the Yolo Food Bank in maintaining compliance with the requirements of SB 1383 related to Edible Food Recovery Services and Organizations, as well as SB 1383 reporting requirements placed in edible food generators.

R3 was selected by the City of Santa Clara (City) in 2017 via a competitive procurement process to conduct an audit of the City’s 10 Non-Exclusive Franchised (NEF) haulers. The NEF haulers provide garbage, recycling, organics, and construction and demolition (C&D) debris collection services within the industrial-zoned areas of the City.

The objectives of this original engagement were to review the period of July 2016 to June 2017 and verify the following:

  1. The accuracy of the haulers’ quarterly reports;
  2. The accuracy of the haulers’ franchise fee payments; and
  3. The haulers’ compliance with the requirement not to provide garbage service to commercial customers that generate 4+ cubic yards per week and are in violation of the City’s mandatory recycling and organics requirements.

R3’s review identified significant underpayments of franchise fees by the haulers, ultimately amounting in a net total of $102,000 owed to the City. R3 communicated the results of the recalculations to the NEF haulers, and all agreed to the mathematical accuracy of franchise fee amounts owed to/from the City.

R3 also provided the City with the following:

  • Identification of haulers that were non-compliant with the commercial recycling and organics subscription reporting requirements specified by their Agreements;
  • Consolidated list of customer listings from each hauler, with updated status of customers’ commercial recycling and organics compliance or exemption status; and
  • Revisions to the NEF Hauler Agreements to include the following:
    • Simplification of the tiered franchise fee calculation by switching to a flat franchise fee on all gross billings;
    • Promotion of diversion through alternative mechanisms, including:
      • Universal bundled services for garbage, recycling, and organics; and
      • Specifications involving minimum diversion rates for facilities that process collected materials;
    • Clarification of the language pertinent to gross billings; and
    • Incorporation of language to facilitate compliance with state legislative requirements.

As a result of the initial audit, R3 was retained by the City to conduct two more NEF hauler audit cycles, as well as to support the implementation of our recommendation to revise the NEF Agreements to facilitate future compliance with state legislation. Our most recent audit for the period of July 2017-2018 identified an additional net total of more than $160,500 in underpayments owed to the City. R3 will conduct the next audit for the City between July 2019 and December 2021.

Citrus Heights - Organics Program

The City of Citrus Heights (City), as well as the Sacramento region, is facing challenges with the recycling of organic waste due to limited capacity at existing facilities, lack of infrastructure, and no long-term solutions. R3 is working with the City to build upon the current structure of the City’s solid waste initiatives to establish new mechanisms for implementation of a more resilient solid waste program.

Our team is assisting the City in with strategic planning for implementation of upcoming state laws, including preparation and aid in addressing challenges and providing guidance during the development of the SB 1383 planning process.

Our scope of work includes:

  • Providing the City with recommended contract negotiations with the haulers to ensure that needed services (weekly organics collection, mandatory universal commercial organics collection, Edible Food Recovery Program, etc.) are incorporated into the collection agreements via amendment(s);
  • Providing additional support for AB 341, AB 1826, SB 1383, and other applicable state laws which require City attention in order to enable the City to implement more successful compliance strategies through a establishing a stronger strategic plan;
  • Conducting community stakeholder meetings and presenting updates to elected officials on legislative requirements; and
  • Updating the City’s municipal code, amending the franchise agreement, and conducting rate adjustments.

We anticipate providing the following benefits to the City at project completion:

  • The facilitation of adjustments to existing reporting pathways;
  • Development of a streamlined strategic plan(s) for full implementation of SB 1383 by January 1, 2022;
  • Development and negotiation assistance for amendments to Municipal Code and existing residential and commercial contracts; and
  • Coordinated County wide facilitation and strategy planning for SB 1383 and overall state compliance.
Rancho Cordova

R3 has provided various on-call solid waste consulting services for the City of Rancho Cordova (City) since 2004, including comprehensive assistance in implementing AB 341, AB 1826, and SB 1383 programs. R3 is currently serving as City solid waste support staff.

R3’s specific tasks include:

  • Creating an overall branded look for the City, which included analyzing, providing recommendations, and assisting with the development of education and outreach material (letters to covered generators, brochures, updated website language, social media posts, customer guides, etc.) for AB 341, AB 1826, AB 827, and SB 1383 compliance, among other applicable state law;
  • Revising the City’s non-exclusive commercial Franchise Agreements (Agreements) and City’s Municipal Code to incorporate AB, 341, 1826, and SB 1383 requirements (provision of services, tonnage and covered generator tracking, delivery of recyclable materials and organic waste to certified facilities, education and outreach, multifamily bulky waste collection, annual planning and reporting, inspection, monitoring, etc.);
  • Revising waste hauler reporting forms to include local and state regulatory requirements;
  • Developing mechanisms for hauler tracking and monitoring;
  • Identifying covered generators and top waste food waste generators for AB 1826 and SB 1383 compliance;
  • Monitoring covered generator compliance;
  • Meeting with the City’s food recovery organizations to discuss opportunities for collaboration regarding the Edible Food Recovery Requirement in SB 1383;
  • Verifying the receipt of quarterly covered generator compliance reports and the required notification and outreach to non-compliant businesses;
  • Assisting in evaluating and reviewing annual rate increases;
  • Assisting in contract negotiations and amendments for applicable state law;
  • Assisting with annual State reporting and grant submissions;
  • Assisting the City and its haulers with the development of the required organic recycling service component;
  • Overseeing the contractual requirements and fee payments of its residential franchised hauler, Republic Services (Republic), and 10 non-exclusive franchised haulers; and
  • Providing the City with recommendations to further maintain good-standing with CalRecycle, including organizing and managing correspondence with CalRecycle, and developing associated public education and outreach.

As a result of our assistance, the City gained the following benefits:

  • City compliance with state regulations by adding waste hauler requirements to Agreements and Ordinance;
  • More efficient waste hauler tracking protocols;
  • Annual EAR reporting and grant submissions for funding mechanisms;
  • Capacity planning and edible food recovery protocols; and
  • Up-to-date Ordinances to reflect local and state regulatory requirements.
Food Recovery

R3, with the assistance of Debra Kaufman Consulting, is currently engaged by the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) to assist with the development of a Strategic Plan for its Food Recovery Program (FRP). The R3 Team’s objective is to develop a Strategic Plan to guide the FRP’s efforts over the next 3 to 4 years with a particular focus on SB 1383, and set appropriate performance targets for the program. We are performing the following main tasks for this engagement:

  • Driving the strategic planning process;
  • Facilitating and managing the project timeline and keep the project on track to its completion in collaboration with FRP Team members;
  • Setting timeline goals for meetings;
  • Establishing milestones and deliverables throughout the planning process, including engaging other stakeholders as agreed to with the FRP Team;
  • Assisting in initiating a coordinated effort between the FRP and ACCFB and the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) and its Member Agencies;
  • Preparing an Initial Draft of the Strategic Plan; and
  • Revising and Finalizing the Final FRP Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan being developed will be focused on infrastructure, staffing structure, logistics, and projected growth. It is being designed to help the FRP effectively support:

  • Increasing the number of meals that the ACCFB and its partner agencies distribute; and
  • Improving the quality and desirability of those meals to ACCFB’s consumers.

As part of this project, the R3 Team is also working with the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) and its Member Agencies to assist in implementing a coordinated Countywide SB 1383 food recovery effort.

Significant issues impacting the FRP and ACCFB that the R3 Team is considering as part of the strategic planning process include:

  • Transportation and Logistics: The main challenge is to develop the logistics and providing sustainable funding for the necessary food collection and distribution system that also addresses the volatility in the availability and need for food on any given day;
  • Smaller Quantities = Increased Unit Costs: As larger donors are secured, securing food from smaller quantity generators will become more prevalent, with reduced economies of scale and higher per pound food recovery costs;
  • Public Education and Outreach: There is a constant need to reeducate donors due to high rates of employee turnover at the businesses donating food;
  • Storage Space and limited Additional Facility Capacity: The need for increased facility capacity for the ACCFB and its partner agencies, as well as increased refrigerated and non-refrigerated storage, must be addressed;
  • Students and Homeless: Homelessness within the ACCFB’s service area has increased 30-40% in the past 2 years, and in Oakland 75% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches; and
  • Patchwork System: There is an opportunity to replace the current patchwork food recovery system with a more efficient, effective and coordinated, Countywide SB 1383 food recovery effort.
City of Merced

R3 was recently engaged by the City of Merced (City) to assist with the preparation of an amended solid waste and revenue Rate Study and 5-Year Financial Plan to meet the projected future expenses and obligations for municipally-operated hauling division over the coming five years. This study served as an amendment to the rate model R3 developed for the City in 2014, providing calculated rate adjustments following the City’s recently adjusted January 2019 rates and five scenarios with recommended rate adjustments to set forthcoming rates through January 2023.

Project tasks R3 conducted for this engagement included the following:

  • Reviewing the City’s current utility policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements as they relate to the City’s solid waste collection operations, capital projects, revenue program requirements;
  • Updating R3’s previous Rate Model and determining whether additional revenues were needed to meet projected expenses costs associated with residential, commercial, and/or development growth, and the possible expansion of collection programs, including commercial recycling and organics services;
  • Developing alternative scenarios for adjusting rates to meet expense and revenue requirements over the planning period, and providing recommended rate adjustments for each scenario;
  • Reviewing the City’s Municipal Code as related to the collection of solid waste and recyclables within the City; and
  • Conducting a residential and commercial rate and service survey to establish benchmarks and analysis of how similar jurisdictions are setting rates and allocating services and expenses based on Proposition 218.

As a result of our work, the City gained the following benefits:

  • Ability to project capital and operational revenues and expenses on a cost-of-service basis over an extended planning period, and analyze and set appropriate rates;
  • Excel-based five-year Financial Plan and rate model; and
  • Assessment of expenses related to implementation of new programmatic requirements in response to new legislation including AB 341, AB 1826 and SB 1383, as well as the requirements of Proposition 218.

Since 2016, R3 has been engaged by the County of Los Angeles (County) Department of Public Works to audit monthly facility and franchised hauler payments and tonnage reports required by the County. These audits are being conducted pursuant to Los Angeles County Code Chapter 20.88, which requires that all disposal sites, transfer/processing stations, or waste exporters in the County remit a fee based upon the tons or cubic yards of solid waste received, collected, conveyed, or hauled during a calendar month.

The County’s goal for this engagement was to confirm and/or correct the facility and hauler fee payments and reported tonnages. To that end, R3 was contracted to conduct approximately 48 facility and hauler audits annually over the course of four (4) years. R3 reviewed the accuracy of solid waste management tonnage fees remitted to the County by disposal sites, transformation facilities, transfer/processing stations, and/or waste exporters operating in the County (4 per month);

To accomplish the County’s objectives, R3 performed the following tasks:

  • Managed the logistics and communications between County and operator/franchisee staff for monthly verifications and site visits;
  • Notified the County Contract Manager of any issues related to the cooperation of operators/franchisees;
  • Provided advance notice to each operator/franchisee of documentation required for review at the confirmed date and location, covering the entire verification review period;
  • Conducted scheduled on-site operator/franchisee staff interviews to gain an understanding of operations and internal tracking procedures and confirmed that the operator/franchisee provided all required documents and records necessary for verification;
  • Reviewed and analyzing the required documents and records in order to verify accuracy of fees, tonnages, and other required elements, and identified possible underpayments or overpayments, if any;
  • Worked with each operator/franchisee to clarify any inconsistencies between R3’s calculated values and the values submitted by the operators/franchisees;
  • Provided the County Contract Manager with paper and electronic copies of the required documents for each verification; and
  • Conducted all work necessary to the completion of the Findings Report for each verification and submits it to the County Contract Manager within 60 calendar days of each site visit.
MTWS Performance Review for Los Altos - Project Analysts Claire Wilson and Ryan Calkins

Performance Review

R3 was engaged by the City of Los Altos (City) to conduct a Performance and Billing Review of Mission Trail Waste Solutions (MTWS) as included under their Collections Service Agreement (Agreement) to provide solid waste, recycling, and organic collection services for the City. R3’s high level review of MTWS consisted of two main tasks: a performance review and a financial compliance assessment. The primary goal was to determine MTWS’ compliance with the applicable terms and conditions of the Agreement, review the effectiveness of current operations; and identify opportunities for program improvement.

R3 worked with MTWS management and City staff to assess MTWS’ compliance with the reporting requirements and performance standards of the Agreement, as well as verify customer billing rate calculations and service levels, franchise fee calculations, and reported diversion percentages.

R3 utilized a variety of methods in the execution of the performance review, including analysis of relevant documents, on-site and field observations, and interviews. The Performance Review addressed the following major aspects of MTWS’s operations:

  • Collection Service Agreement Compliance Review;
  • Collection Operations Review;
  • Management and Administration Review;
  • Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Review;
  • Customer Service Review (including customer feedback);
  • Monthly, quarterly and annual report assessment;
  • Diversion Programs, Performances and Good Faith Efforts; and
  • Outreach and Education Services.

R3 conducted the financial compliance assessment to determine that customers are being charged the proper service rate based on their service level; service rate revenues are properly recorded and accounted for by the contractor; franchise fees are properly calculated, paid and received. R3 conducted three tests to accomplish this goal:

  • Test of Subscribers to verify that service subscribers are billed the correct rate for the level of service provided;
  • Test of Revenue Transactions to verify that the billed amounts to City residents and businesses, and the corresponding payments received are properly recorded in the MTWS billing and accounting systems; and
  • Test of Franchise Fee Transactions to verify that the franchise fees are calculated correctly, and based on the correct level of recorded revenues.

Our review found that MTWS is in compliance with the vast majority of the Agreement’s requirements. Collections are performed in a safe, courteous, and cleanly manner; coordination between the drivers, customer service, shop, and management is facilitated by an effective system of work orders; fleet maintenance operations and vehicles have consistently received satisfactory ratings from the California Highway Patrol; and MTWS is operating a sophisticated and professional customer service operation.

We determined that the most significant area for improvement relative to the Agreement’s terms and conditions is in outreach and education, which is not being performed according to the Agreement’s requirements.

Project benefits include:

  • Verification of MTWS’ compliance with the vast majority of the Agreement’s provisions;
  • Recommendations for MTWS’ improved compliance with the existing requirements of the Agreement regarding meeting reporting requirements, outreach and education activities, and paying the City franchise fee and administrative fees; and
  • Recommendations for revisions to the Agreement with regards to HHW collection services, rate requirements, and the billing schedule.

High Diversion Planning

R3 has been working with the City of Los Altos (City) since 2010, when we were originally engaged to provide procurement assistance resulting in the award of the Franchise Agreement (Agreement) with the City’s current hauler, Mission Trail Waste Systems (MTWS), that requires 78% diversion of franchised waste.

In service of our ongoing diversion support for the City, R3 has recently:

  • Completely revised the City’s Solid Waste Ordinance to align with the Agreement with MTWS, facilitated complete subscriber compliance with two State of California Assembly Bills (AB), AB 341 (mandatory multi-family and commercial recycling) and AB 1826 (mandatory commercial organics diversion), and facilitated increased diversion of recyclables and organics from commercial, industrial, and multi-family waste generators;
  • Undertaken an SB 1383 preparedness exercise in which we identified opportunities for the City to obtain needed support from MTWS in complying with the regulations;
  • Assisted the City in identifying enforcement thresholds for mandatory recycling and organics service: drafting enforcement letters which include notification of state law for generators covered under AB 341 and AB 1826, exemption forms, and a self-haul tonnage reporting form; and site visits to covered generators to encourage compliance;
  • Reviewed implementation of services in the field, including lid-flip assessments of waste from the top 50 generators in the City, as well as an assessment of MTWS’s outreach and education pertaining to increased diversion of recyclables and organics;
  • Developed a technical assistance plan and framework in support of the City’s commitment to providing diversion-related technical assistance and outreach;
  • Revised the City’s Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris ordinance in alignment with CALGreen, establishing a system of facility certification;
  • Certified facilities and revised the City’s mandatory building checklist to include the certified facilities and other approved means of compliance such as deconstruction and purchase of a debris box from the City’s franchised hauler;
  • Conducted a street maintenance impact fee study for refuse vehicles used in the City; and
  • Completed the City’s Electronic Annual Report to CalRecycle for the reporting years 2016-2019.

R3 has also been engaged to assist the City with contract extension negotiations with MTWS, which includes support for some SB 1383 requirements, including universal roll-out of organics service to all businesses in the City.