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Case Studies

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City of Mountain View

Zero Waste, Negotiations and Rate Modeling (2011-2016)

Project Background

In February 2011, the City of Mountain View City Council selected HF&H to prepare a Zero Waste Plan (Plan). The HF&H team included ESA Inc., Kies Strategies, and Steven Sherman Consulting. The planning process was distinguished by use of HF&H’s industry database to model diversion impacts and costs for selected new and modified services. The process included public meetings and surveying, developing a detailed baseline analysis of current programs, and coordination of processing needs with the cities of Sunnyvale and Palo Alto (the users of the SMaRT Station materials processing facility).

Project Results

In June 2011, the City Council elected to conduct a sole source RFP and negotiation process with Recology for a new seven year term, with a focus on increasing diversion. In September 2012, Council awarded the Recology agreement, praising staff’s efforts and the process and noting that the provision of HF&H benchmark data provided added assurance that a new sole source contract with Recology was in the City’s best interests. Working closely with staff from three departments, HF&H assisted in defining the process, reviewing options for rate setting and compensation adjustment, and developed a “mini-RFP”, a draft collection agreement and a term sheet for an organics processing agreement. The RFP required proposals for “base services” (current services with relatively minor changes) and for six “zero waste services”. The zero waste services selected for the RFP were developed through the zero waste planning process. HF&H assisted City staff in developing a sophisticated means for addressing effective delivery of residential services to a wide range of housing types – a challenge faced by many California communities with significant in-fill and mixed use. HF&H also assisted with evaluation of Recology’s proposal, using our benchmark database to assess cost and operational efficiency, our detailed zero waste planning analysis to review proposed zero waste services, and analyzing G&A expenses and regional and corporate allocations to the local affiliate. In 2016, the City engaged HF&H to assist City staff in evaluating the results of the City’s recent every-other-week (EOW) pilot, and in negotiating program changes and compensation with the hauler.