R3 was engaged by Zero Waste Sonoma (ZW Sonoma, formerly known as Sonoma County Waste Management Authority), to provide a Comprehensive Guide and Training for ZW Sonoma staff, Member Agency staff, and Board members. R3’s primary objective was to present ZW Sonoma and its 9 Member Agencies with the information needed to effectively manage their solid waste contracts and navigate the complex solid waste system as it evolves in Sonoma County. This included addressing the potential shift of recyclable material processing capacity and the ongoing arrangements surrounding the organic waste processing facilitated by ZW Sonoma.
R3 developed Comprehensive Guide that describes current solid waste contracts, their terms and conditions, the entities and relationships, and any other unique solid waste system nuances of which Member Agencies should be aware. Intended for long-term use, the guide is a “living document” that can be adapted and updated by ZW Sonoma staff and Member Agencies. The Guide consisted of a reader-friendly informational package with illustrative charts, figures, and tables regarding the solid waste systems in place in Sonoma County.
To develop this Guide, R3 performed the following tasks:
- Presented the information about the County’s existing solid waste system and analysis of each Member Agency’s individual systems, including legislative updates, customer rate benchmarks, and mechanisms for effectively managing a contract;
- Provided summaries of the above information for quick and accessible comparison amongst Member Agencies;
- Provided ZW Sonoma and Member Agencies with a timeline to achieve important diversion milestones and described key activities and their responsible parties in the solid waste industry; and
- Described applicable solid waste opportunities and innovations that may be available to Member Agencies and ZW Sonoma in the future.
R3 also facilitated two Solid Waste 101 Training Sessions for Sonoma County decision makers that presented the information provided in the Comprehensive Guide in an interactive format and included round-table discussions to address questions and provide solutions for Member Agencies.
As a result of R3’s work, Zero Waste Sonoma gained the following benefits:
- Presentation of comprehensive information about the history of solid waste in Sonoma County, important solid waste specific legislative updates, customer rate benchmark, and mechanisms for effectively managing a contract;
- Easy-to-read format enabling immediate utilization by each Member Agency; and
- An updatable resource for decision makers in Sonoma County to gain a thorough understanding of the current waste management system, the contractual relationships involved both broadly and for their Member Agencies, and how the system may change in the future.