Riverside – Solid Waste Organic Services Program Review

City of Riverside

R3 first conducted an evaluation of the City of Riverside (City)’s organics collection program, which included reviewing the City’s municipal code, franchise agreement, and commercial solid waste rates; disposal, transfer and processing options and capabilities, commercial customer practices, available food recovery program options, and waste hauler involvement in the provision of services.

As part of this project, R3 provided the City with recommended modifications and updates to the existing program in support of legislative requirements for recycling and organics diversion, including AB 341, SB 1383, and AB 1594. In addition, R3 updated the City’s AB 1826 Plan to CalRecycle, providing a memorandum summarizing the actions needed of the City and its haulers and timelines for such actions. R3 developed tools for the City to use in its AB 1826 outreach, including a tracking Excel workbook, scripts for outreach calls, and sample compliance letters to send to noncompliant businesses and multi-family properties.

R3 also provided the City with recommendations to establish commercial food waste collection service through an extension to the current commercial franchise hauling contracts via a 1-year amendment, a competitive RFP process, or by taking a hybrid approach. R3 developed these recommendations for the most effective approach to facilitate both the City’s immediate and long-term plans with the objective of maximizing efficiency, sustainability, and customer satisfaction while meeting the state’s mandatory solid waste collection laws.

Building off that assessment, R3 (with subconsultants Cascadia Consulting Group and SCS Engineers) is currently engaged by the City of Riverside to perform a strategic and economic review of their solid waste and recycling program. The overall objective of this review is to analyze long-term industry best practices and state requirements for AB 341, AB 1826, SB 1383, and AB 1594. Specific issues to be addressed during the analysis is whether to outsource or continue providing municipal street sweeping and residential services. For this engagement, R3 is conducting the following tasks:

  • Reviewing the City’s Residential Collection Operations and identify opportunities to improve performance;
  • Review the 2018 Performance Audit of the City’s Public Works Department;
  • Review the feasibility for demand-based pricing for residential services;
  • Evaluate City services and costs compared to contracted services and costs;
  • Review the City’s current Agreements for commercial and residential collection (including Amendments) and prepare recommendations to address new contractual requirements for regulatory compliance and industry best practices;
  • Review the City’s waste processing contract with Burrtec for the operation of Agua Mansa Transfer Station;
  • Review and revise the City’s current Municipal Code and diversion policies, with consideration to statewide contamination reduction requirements such as AB 341, AB 1826, SB 1383;
  • Analyze financial organic waste program data provided by waste haulers and transfer, processing and disposal facilities;
  • Establish rate structure goals for the City;
  • Conduct a Cost-of-Service analysis to determine the costs of providing service;
  • Document current financial baselines and evaluate the sufficiency of the current rate structure to meet the haulers’ expenses over the 5- and 10-year planning periods
  • Prepare revenue and expense projections for the 5- and 10-year planning periods;
  • Develop solid waste Rate Model and analyze rate-adjustment options for the 5- and 10-year planning periods; and
  • Set recommended solid waste rates for the City over a five-year time span.
  • Based on our findings from the review, we have provide the City with recommendations to minimize waste volume, optimize collection and waste transfer practices, improve cash flow, identify opportunities for increased waste recovery and energy production, and address Agreement requirements for the incorporation of long-term industry best practices and state regulations.