"It’s the fairest process and it tells us what the market will bear from the stand point of cost and services," Mayor Howard Fishman told Patch before the council meeting.
While other council members agreed with the mayor to move forward and seek proposals for a competitive bidding process, Councilman Michael DiVirgilio cast the dissenting vote.
DiVirgilio said at the meeting that he didn’t object to the idea of a competitive bidding process, but thought a full range of trash collection options wasn't encompassed in the motion the council passed.
Under the motion, the city would seek two separate bids, or quotes, from each waste collection company interested in serving Hermosa.
The city hired HF&F Consultants to assist with the process of outlining the scope of services needed, and the firm presented a comprehensive overview of the city’s options at the meeting (see accompanying report under photo.)
One quote would be for a single-stream, flat-rate trash collection model, while another would be for the collection of separate recycling and waste bins, with a "pay as you throw" model.
As trash is collected now, Hermosa Beach residents pay a flat rate per month, regardless of how much waste they produce.
A single stream model, which combines recycling and refuse into a single bin, would be convenient for residents, may attract companies that separate waste from recycling at their processing centers and would save the city some money, according to HF&H.
A separate collection of both waste and recycling, on the other hand, would encourage residents to recycle, according to HF&H, and the "pay as you throw" model could not only encourage less waste but also generate additional revenue from residents with a high volume of trash.
The Hermosa Beach Public Works Commission and Green Task Force have pursue a competitive bidding process and provide city residents with a green waste container for weeds and shrubbery.
"We would be doing a disservice to the public and a disservice to the men and women who serve on the Green Task Force and the Public Works Commission if we didn’t heed their recommendation," said Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Duclos.
"This is one of the biggest contracts the city has, in the millions of dollars, and I think the measured approach we’ve taken is the right one," Duclos said.
But James Castro, the general manager of Consolidated Disposal Service, urged the council to keep in mind that his company could help the city reform its trash collection while maintaining its city partnership.
"We have some of the lowest [fee] rates in L.A County. There may be additional costs, but we can cover all the additional services presented today," Castro told the council. "We can be very competitive if you give us just six days to negotiate. It would avoid a costly transition and bidding process for the city."
After the council decided to move forward with the bidding process, Castro told Patch, "I still think we have a leg up on the process because we know what the needs are, we have good support in the city and a good relationship with the council… We want to stay here. I’d be remiss not to ask the council for an exclusive negotiation."
How would you like to see your trash collected?