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Energy & Resource Management Committee Minutes

Energy & Resource Management Committee Minutes

September 21, 2005

MEMBERS PRESENT: McNelly, Mitchell, Roberts
MEMBERS ABSENT: Adamson, Hartwick, McCormack, Murphy, Twineham
PUBLIC PRESENT: Mark McGee and Dave Ault, MG Disposal
STAFF PRESENT: Assistant Planner Sowers, Clerical Support Norton
APPROVAL OF: Minutes of May 18, 2005 continued to October 19, 2005

a. AB 939 compliance

Dave Ault of MB Disposal spoke about AB 939 compliance. He said that self-haul is still dramatically affecting the City. Hopefully this issue will be resolved if the surcharge is passed by the County's Board of Supervisors December 13, 2005. The Waste Commission has unanimously approved the surcharge. It appears that there is support for the proposal.

At a public hearing held last month, only six people (who are end-dump users) spoke against the proposal. They were concerned that self-haulers would be financially impacted if the surcharge is approved. Mr. Ault explained that an approval of the surcharge would have no affect on self-haulers because they are all on an equal playing field since they bid their jobs.

MG believes that waste is coming in from other counties and being dumped into Fullerton's land fill. Self-haul has gone up from 13,000 tons per year to almost 35,000 tons per year. The diversion rate is going to be very close to 50 and the trend is down. The self-haul rates are so much higher than the cost of material. Self haul is ramping up; a business is able to not use the franchised service and either get an illegal hauler, or haul it themselves directly to the landfill. There is a proposal on the table to raise the self-haul rate to $46.00. If the rate of self-haul is not increased, the cities will be asked, by the state, to do more and more to keep the diversion rate from dropping below 50. Mr. Ault said the diversion rate figures for the last five years are as follows:

1999 - 58
2000 - 57
2001 - 57

2002 - 55%,
2003 - 51%

The estimated diversion with 1.7% growth comes out to 51.01. Right at 50%

Committee Member Roberts said what will stop waste haulers from coming in from other counties. Mr. Ault explained that if the rate is increased, there would be more incentive economically to not dump outside of their areas. The Count of Orange did a study called the Lasticity Study where consultants determined at what level people would not dump in Orange County. The results showed that 95+ percent would not dump if the rate was raised to $46.

Vice Chairman McNelly said he understood there is an Assembly Bill on the floor recommending that the diversion credit for green waste be switched to ADC. Mr. Ault said that he did not believe that the diversion credit is at risk of being taken away. Vice Chairman McNelly felt that the Green Waste Program is under publicized. The City needs to have a program that would emphasize the concept "don't bag place in a barrel" it can be recycled. Mr. Ault said he would like to encourage residents to do a better job curbside so that the waste is cleaner.

Committee Member Roberts asked what area would Fullerton need to improve on in order to gain another 1% for diversion. Mr. Alt said there are small things that can be done that help in the recycling effort -- such as bagging the trash and leaving all of the recyclables on the bottom, but the biggest impact would be the green waste.

Associate Planner Sowers said the trend in the market is to bag the green waste and asked if there is a way that the green waste could be picked up if it is in a plastic bag. Committee Member Mitchell noted that green waste can become very smelly especially if it sits for any length of time. Mark Miller suggested adding newspaper to the bottom of the bin to correct that problem.

Committee Member Mitchell noted that she saw three barrels with yellow stickers that did not have plastic bags inside and agreed that the public must be better educated. Mr. Ault mentioned that the Fullerton News Tribune would be a good place to promote the Green Waste Program. The more green waste that is separated, the lower the City's rate would be.

Chairman McNelly asked if MG is under any pressure to automate their process. Mr. Miller said MG went from a two-man crew to a one-man crew to improve safety and working conditions. The change would save the City money.

Chairman McNelly expressed his concern with identity theft when people look through his trash for bottles and cans to recycle and would like to see Fullerton's Scavenging Ordinance enforced. Mr. Ault said that the City Manager is working on a number of changes to some of the ordinances and the Scavenger Ordinance is among them.

Chairman McNelly said time is running out and would like to schedule a second meeting for Mr. Miller and Mr. Ault to revisit AB 939 compliance.

Mr. Ault said November would be a good time to return the Committee meeting because it is just before the Board of Supervisors cast their votes. And at that time, he would have more information on AB 939. The assembly recently passed a bill that would require the City to identify the top ten special events held in the City. A program for waste diversion must then be created for the top 10% of the qualifying activity. The law allows each City to develop its own model ordinance. This ordinance becomes part of the annual reporting process for AB 939. If a City chooses not to develop its own ordinance, than the State default ordinance would apply. That ordinance could be quite onerous.

Mr. Miller said each year it becomes more difficult to hold the Compost Give-A-Way Program at the Arboretum because of limited space and that the event is open to the general public not just Fullerton residents. He said he would prefer to include the Compost Program in one of the many events Fullerton sponsors in the spring where the give-a-ways can be for Fullerton residents only.

b. Sewer Fee - Receive update on the City Council decision.

Assistant Planner Sowers advised that the City Council did adopt the new fees.

c. Meeting scheduling and total membership - Discuss reducing the monthly meetings and total membership.

The Committee discussed reducing meetings to as needed and whether Committee Members should be allowed to remain on the Committee if already serving if they wish until replacement members are appointed by the City Council. No decision was made on reducing the frequency of meetings and members whose term is up seemed willing to continue to serve. Committee




Place FERMAC on the next meeting agenda

The next ERMC meeting is scheduled for October 19, 2005.