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Funding Facility Development: Three Partnership Styles

March 25, 2016

SWANA Webinar Presenters: Bob Hilton, President; Peter Deibler, Senior Manager

As more cities, counties and states continue to drive diversion of discarded materials from landfills, many agencies are now faced with the new question of where to take the “good stuff”. Many agencies are recognizing a need to dramatically increase recyclables and organics processing capacity to meet community demands and local/state regulation. However, funding processing facility development, whether starting from scratch or simply improving existing infrastructure, is no small feat, and public agencies often seek to do so in partnership with private companies. This presentation tells the story, through case studies, of three separate approaches to funding materials processing facilities through public/private partnership, discusses the impacts of direct verses indirect public agency involvement in funding and facility development, and considers how aspects of the these two approaches may be combined to best serve your agency:

  • Approaching Facility Development as a Project: The County of Santa Barbara and several cities within the county are currently negotiating the details of a private sector partnership to build a materials processing facility, composting facility and anaerobic digestion facility on land owned by the county, and funded through a non-recourse debt structure.
  • Approaching Facility Development as a Service: The City of San Jose, CA indirectly drove development of the world-class materials recovery facility at Newby Island, and the ZWED Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digestion Facility (located on City land) by requesting that the capacity for processing services be made available, without directly participating in facility design, construction, or funding.
  • Hybrid Approach – Facility Development as a Project and a Service: The South Bayside Waste Management Authority, a joint powers authority made up of twelve municipalities in San Mateo County, initially drove development of the Shoreway Environmental Center by a private company, and then subsequently issued revenue bonds to acquire and significantly upgrade it themselves.