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Coastal Voices: The case for Recology

Tommy SparrowI would like to personally thank the employee owners of Recology Del Norte for their dedication and commitment to the customers, community, and their company. Without their support, Recology Del Norte would have never received the 4-1 vote awarding us the proposal for Solid Waste, Recyclables, and Organics Collection.

The confidence of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority Board in the experience of our company and people is a testament to the dedication of our employees, and demonstrates the board’s faith in our ability to move forward together toward its goal of zero waste. 

In the weeks following the board’s decision, Recology Del Norte has been portrayed as a large corporation without local roots. While our headquarters is located in San Francisco, Recology Del Norte could easily fill a page in The Triplicate with local activities and organizations that we support.

Of the 3.6 percent of our revenue that the corporate office receives, a large portion of that has come directly back to this community as initiatives that I have requested. One example is the free curbside recycling that began in 2004, which supported Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority’s diversion goals, educated more than 2,000 customers about the benefits of recycling, and created local jobs at Julindra Recycling and Recology Del Norte.

With the financial support of the corporate office, and the understanding that no revenue would be generated, this program has been a complete success at absolutely no cost to the individual customer. 

In July 2009, Recology Del Norte did not apply the rate increase granted to us by Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, thereby passing savings on to each of our customers. While the customers’ rates did not increase, Recology Del Norte did incur the increased charges at the transfer station, again with the agreement of the corporate office. 

Having served as president of Del Norte Sunrise Rotary, I would like to thank Recology for recognizing the importance of  my efforts in community involvement. Without their backing, I would not have been able to participate in many of the valuable community events that I count myself fortunate to be a part of. 

Recently, concerns have arisen that suggest that the proposal submitted by Recology Del Norte is $2.4 million higher than that of the Hambro Group. Comparing the actual information publically released in the RFP (Exhibit 1) to the pricing submitted by Recology Del Norte and the Hambro Group shows the complete picture of the contract, which should help clarify these concerns. 

Regarding the proposal for residential services, which includes the overwhelming majority of the customer base, Recology Del Norte’s proposal came in at $15,127,536. Comparatively, the Hambro Group’s proposal came in at $16,448,448.

Regarding the proposal for commercial services, Recology Del Norte’s proposal came in at $30,783,012. Comparatively, the Hambro Group’s proposal came in at $29,140,896. The overall comparison shows that in a comprehensive, side-by-side evaluation, Recology Del Norte’s total is $45,910,548 while the Hambro Group’s total is $45,589,344 over the duration of the 12-year contract. 

Recology Del Norte is looking forward to completing the negotiations with the Ad Hoc Committee, and looking forward to an excellent working relationship with the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, Julindra Recycling, and the Hambro Group as we move Del Norte County closer to Recology’s goal of “Waste Zero.”

Tommy Sparrow is general manager of Recology Del Norte.

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