Monday, August 11, 2008

Recycling funds may be shared


Santa Barbara city leaders are expected to agree to split the proceeds, or costs, of providing residential recycling programs on the South Coast with the County of Santa Barbara.
The county currently transports all commingled recyclables collected in residential and small business bins in the South County to a private facility in Ventura where they are sorted and sold.

Any revenues raised after fees and processing costs will be split between the county and the city based on the amount of recyclables each entity contributed, should city leaders agree to the revenue sharing deal tomorrow.
Last year, the city delivered approximately 13,000 tons of recyclables to the county’s transfer station. Those recyclables were ultimately sorted and sold for $1.6 million, city officials said.
After taking into account tipping fees and costs related to handling, processing and transporting the recycled materials, the city’s net revenues totaled $512,000.
Should the city council agree to move forward with the agreement, the county will pay that amount to the city in fiscal year 2009 in two equal installments.
“In anticipation of this agreement, a conservative revenue estimate of $400,000 was included in the fiscal year 2009 adopted budget, which will fund Solid Waste Fund programs and activities, as well as recent staff changes approved by city council,” according to an agenda report.
However, if the cost of recycling the city’s share outpaces the revenues it generates, the city will fork over funds to the county to account for its portion of expenses, if the agreement is approved.
After receiving recyclables from carts and cans in Santa Barbara, Goleta and unincorporated areas of the South County, the county transports the materials to the Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station in Ventura.
Although the privately owned company charges a tipping fee, it also pays the county 90 percent of the value of the sorted recyclables, which are sold on the open market.
Last year, the 25,100 tons of commingled recyclables delivered by the county amounted to more than $3.1 million. After fees and associated costs, that figure was just under $1 million.
The concept of a revenue sharing agreement between the city and the county grew out of a study on the possibility of building a recycling and sorting facility in the county.
“Although the siting of a local [materials recovery facility] was not pursued beyond the feasibility study, the idea of sharing revenues from commingled recyclables survived,” according to the agenda report.
The agreement will apply to recyclables collected by the city’s two franchise haulers, Allied Waste and Marborg, from bins – not dumpsters or roll-off containers. Under the payment methodology, the county will pay the city each year based on data from the prior year.
While the term of the proposed agreement is only two years, city officials said a longer agreement is expected to be made after several unresolved issues are settled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why don't the revenues from dumpsters count?