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City of Loveland Solid Waste Division

City of Loveland Solid Waste Division

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City of Loveland Solid Waste Division

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  1. City of Loveland Solid Waste Division • Diversion Versus Disposal: Determining the Costs

  2. Conventional Industry Assumptions • Landfill space is abundant and inexpensive in Colorado. • Recycling markets are far away. • Many smaller communities don’t have access to facilities to sort and process recyclables for market. • Diversion, while it may be a good idea, is too expensive relative to cheap disposal. • No federal or state mandates to divert materials from landfill disposal.

  3. Community and Program Information • Loveland population: 60,000 • Solid Waste Division operates as an enterprise fund in an open, competitive market with private waste haulers. • City has approximately 96% market share. • Households served: 22,000 single-family, duplex, and triplex.

  4. Historical Perspective • 1992: flat monthly fee of $5.75 for up to ten bags collected weekly. • No incentive for waste reduction/recycling. • Worker injuries from lifting heavy bags of grass. • Increased worker compensation costs. • Community interest in recycling.

  5. 1993: New Program Implemented • Base rate currently $5.25/month. • Volume-based, “pay-as-you-throw” rates for refuse. • Curbside and drop-off recycling and yard waste composting.

  6. PAYT Options • City trash stamp: $1.00 for 32-gallons.

  7. PAYT Options • Trash carts: 32-G $5.00/month. 64-G $10.00/month 96-G $15.00/month • Carts used by about 70% of City customers.

  8. Program Compatibility with Collection Equipment • Residential front loaders: manual or automated collection.

  9. Recycling Services • Curbside collection: Glass bottles and jars, metal cans and plastic bottles in green bin; mixed paper in blue bin. • Drop-off: all curbside materials, plus scrap metal, appliances, batteries, tires, TVs and motor/cooking oil.

  10. Yard Waste Composting Services • Curbside pickup: 96-gallon cart provided for weekly collection April through November for $6.00/month.

  11. Yard Waste Composting Services • Free drop-off for Loveland residents. • Materials accepted: branches, leaves, grass clippings, garden trimmings and lumber. • A-1 Organics produces high-quality compost for wholesale.

  12. The Results • Residential diversion rate has exceeded 50% annually since ’93. • Average weekly trash setouts decreased from three to one 32-gallon bag. • Workers are staying healthy since yard waste (and increasingly refuse) containerized. • Customers are very happy with services.

  13. Determining Costs • Since more than one-half of residential waste stream is diverted from landfill disposal, is it cheaper or most expensive than disposal? • How do we determine costs per ton for disposal versus diversion?

  14. Cost Methodology • Each activity area (refuse, recycling and yard waste) has its own assigned personnel and equipment. • Costs specific to an activity are charged solely to that activity. • Across the board expenses (work clothing, printing, postage, etc.) are allocated among the three activities, based on the allocation of labor. • Costs are inclusive: labor, benefits, supplies, services, equipment, transfers, PILT and capital. • Refuse includes landfill disposal fees, while income from sale of recyclables is credited against recycling expenses.

  15. 2005 Data • Disposal Expenses: $1,749,624 • Disposal Tons: 16,339 • Cost Per Ton: $107 • Diversion Expenses: $1,489,318 • Diversion Tons: 20,756 • Cost Per Ton: $72

  16. The Bottom Line • In 2005, diversion was $35 per ton cheaper than disposal.

  17. Key Factors • Pay-As-You-Throw rates encourage a high level of waste reduction and recycling. • As diversion increases, the cost per ton decreases. • Aggressive recycling and composting efforts pay big dividends. • Yard waste makes up two-thirds of all diversion tons – the low-hanging fruit.

  18. New Initiatives • Automation of recycling and single-stream, fully-commingled cart-based collection: 2009. • Automation of refuse collection: 2010. • New fleet and five-year replacement schedule in future. • Add new recyclables and compostables, when feasible: aseptic boxes, textiles, other plastics, food waste, etc.

  19. Summary • Plan for high levels of diversion. • Create incentives for residents to recycle: PAYT. • Make waste diversion and recycling convenient. • Provide drop-off options, especially for yard debris: These are cheaper per ton than curbside. • Understand costs and how they are allocated. • Waste diversion does make economic sense for Colorado.