Tulare County will be keeping more of its wood and green waste but wasting less money on finding ways to recycle it.
At its April 23 meeting, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to award its natural material recycling to Fresno-based West Coast Waste, Inc.
The contract price is $16.80 per ton with an estimated 15,000 tons per year for a total cost of $252,000 per year. The contract is for three years with an option for a one-year extension to provide the service at the County’s Visalia Landfill at Road 80 and Avenue 328, Teapot Dome Landfill at Road 208 and Avenue 128 and Woodville Landfill at Road 152 and Avenue 198.
Brooks Stayer, manager of the County’s Solid Waste Department, said West Coast Waste edged out Visalia-based WC Wood Industries after both proposals were evaluated by County staff. Price was the determining factor as the County will save an estimated $71,000 annually with West Coast’s proposal.
The companies were the only two of 14 vendors to respond to the Request for Proposals in February after the current contract for wood and green waste recycling ended on Jan. 30, 2013. Stayer said the previous vendor actually terminated their contract in September 2012 because the biomass plant it was hauling the waste made changes to the types of vegetated materials they would accept. Only two companies responded to the RFP.
Instead of diverting all of its wood and green waste to a composter, Stayer said the County will keep between 10-20% of the material to line the slopes of the landfills. He said the mulch will help prevent customers hauling waste from getting stuck during wet weather. Under the agreement, West Coast Waste will grind the material during normal operating hours at the landfills. The company will take the rest of the material off-site to meet its power plant supply contracts. Any excess material will be hauled by the company to a compost facility at their expense.
The services are part of the County’s effort to meet the 50% diversion rate of solid waste set by California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989. Stayer said the County has the option of using the wood and green waste to cover the landfill with a minimum of 6 inches of earth and material each night, which would add 154 feet of dirt to the landfills each year.
As an EPA-approved alternative, Stayer said the County diverts all of the material to composters and instead uses tarps and a thin film plastic to cover the landfill each night without wasting any “air space.”