We need Good Jobs and Zero Waste

Santa Rosa City Council

The Santa Rosa City Council is making a decision about awarding the waste management contract in August. The council and city staff now have the opportunity to establish clear priorities for evaluating potential contractors. 350.org Sonoma County and North Bay Jobs with Justice believe it is essential that the city select a contractor with the capacity and track record to implement a comprehensive good jobs and zero waste policy in Santa Rosa.
Please sign our petition to the members of the Santa Rosa City Council
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To: Santa Rosa City Council
From: [Your Name]

July 6, 2017

As Santa Rosa and Sonoma County residents, we are concerned about the process for awarding the waste disposal and recycling contract for the City of Santa Rosa that expires this year.

The selection process for the garbage and recycling contract should be more transparent and accountable to the ratepayers. We urge you to choose a waste and recycling company that can meet the highest possible labor, environmental, and customer service standards. Moreover, a demonstrated record of high-quality performance should be prioritized over the lowest bid. The City must develop a vision and policy for 'Zero Waste’ similar to those adopted by San Francisco, Oakland, and other Northern California cities.

We believe the most important factors for evaluating a bidder are the capacity and a demonstrated track record of a firm to:

1) Achieve an 80% diversion rate from landfills and incinerators over the next 10 years;

2) Implement a three-bin ‘smart source’ collection system for all customers and conduct extensive public and consumer education;

3) Provide family-sustaining living wages, as well as comprehensive health, retirement, and paid vacation benefits for all workers; and protecting the right of workers to organize a union;

4) Ensure that at least 50 percent of the service provider’s employees are residents of Sonoma County and at least 75 percent are residents of Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Lake, or Napa counties;

5) Maintain excellent health and safety conditions for employees and provide ongoing safety training for all workers;

6) Replace all out-of-compliance, polluting trucks with clean-fuel trucks, and develop the most efficient route system possible;

7) Require mandatory garbage and recycling collection services for all commercial, single- and multi-family units in Santa Rosa, and implement a rate structure that includes tiered pricing for low-income residents, incentives for customers to increase recycling and decrease disposal, and rate stability over a five-year period;

Current residential garbage collection rates for Santa Rosa are well below the average for Bay Area cities. We understand requiring a waste management contractor to comply with the highest possible labor, environmental, and customer service standards may necessitate a rate increase.

However, we believe that any rate increase must be accompanied by the highest labor and environmental standards and consumer/ratepayer quality of services; and that waste management contractor must be accountable to the city and ratepayers for meeting the goals and standards set forth above.