Upcoming Solid Waste Transition FAQ
|1. Q: What will the cost of trash and recycle pick up be?|
A: There are two options to choose from depending on what fits your lifestyle and budget.
Option 1: 2 times a week trash pickup only - $10.71 monthly / $32.13 a quarter.
Option 2: 2 times a week trash pickup & once a week recycle pickup - $18.71 / $56.13 a quarter.
2. Q: How can Apache Junction enforce mandatory garbage for everyone?
A: Per Arizona Administrative Code Title 18, Chapter 13, Article 3, R18-13-305, “where refuse collection service is available, the following refuse shall be required to be collected; Garbage, ashes, rubbish, and small dead animals which do not exceed 75 pounds in weight." The city will be able to enforce this through an update to the city code.
3. Q: How often can Republic Services raise rates?
A: Under the contract, Republic Services cannot arbitrarily raise rates at any time. They will be obligated to place in writing a request to raise rates to the city. This can only be done one time per year and the request to raise rates is required to be in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Water, Sewer and Trash Collection (CPI-U).
While the highest increase per CPI-U was 6.05% in 2010, increases in recent years have hovered closer to 3.5%. A 3.5% increase on $10.71 rate per month would equate to an increase of approximately .37 cents per month, or about $4.50 per year.
4. Q: Are there any additional or hidden fees in and above the $10.71 and $18.71 monthly rates?
A: No, these monthly rates are inclusive of all fees.
5. Q: How often will I be billed?
A: Payment is due quarterly, however, there is an option to pay annually to receive a 2% discount. All payments are to be made directly to Republic Services.
6. Q: What is the timing of the transfer of service to Republic Services?
A: It is anticipated that a contract will be considered by council in October 2019 with an expected start date of March 2, 2020. The city and Republic will work to educate residential customers on the new mandated trash services and how to sign up for services beginning shortly after the contract is in effect. Residents should verify with their current hauler that services will end and containers will be removed by Feb. 29, 2020.
7. Q: Can you provide more details on what bulk trash pick-up consists of and includes?
A: Typical bulk trash items may consist of items that do not fit inside the provided garbage container. Common examples are furniture, appliances, large plastic toys, old grills, brush/branches and refrigerators (freon must be removed prior to service). There are restrictions on size which will be provided to residents when information about all of the services are published.
8. Q: How does one sign up for the curbside bulk trash pickup?
A: If a resident has a need for the curbside bulk trash pickup in any given month, they will be able to call Republic Services to schedule it. This once a month service available to residents is included in the monthly price.
9. Q: Can we protect our residents in March when they transition from WM or RAD from getting charged an extra surcharge for “changing”?
A: While city staff is not 100% sure if trash service providers charge for container pick up upon cancellation of services it is not anticipated that the other providers would charge a fee for cancellation unless there is a contract in place. Staff spoke to RAD and the customer service agent stated they do not charge a fee to pick up bins when a customer cancels service.
10. Q: Will Republic work with winter visitors on a 3-month winter visitor deal?
A: As written in their response to the Request For Proposal, “upon request, Republic will set accounts to a reduced vacation hold for up to 6 months a year”. City staff has received verbal confirmation from Republic Services that the reduced rate for up to 6 months will be $0.
11. Q: What about the Home Owners Associations who have a contract with other providers?
A: The city will honor any contracts HOA’s have in place until the expiration date at which time they will need to transition to Republic Services.
12. Q: How will AJ make it work for residents who generate little to no weekly trash?
A: Residents are only obligated to put out their containers when there is material to be disposed of and they may choose to place their container out only one of the two days per week it is scheduled for pick up. It is important to note that all residential residents in the city share in the cost of these services under the contract and according to staff research and feedback received from residents the rates being proposed are lower than any current provider’s pricing.
13. Q: Are residential rental properties considered commercial or residential?
A: For the purposes of this contract, single-family, duplex, triplex, and four-plex residential units (rental or owner-occupied) are considered residential and fall under the provisions of the solid waste contract. Only mobile home parks and residential dwellings of more than four units are considered commercial.
14. Q: If I rent a home or a unit in a duplex, triplex, or four-plex is it my responsibility or the owner’s responsibility to pay for the cost of trash services?
A: All renters should refer to their lease or rental contract to determine if they are liable for the cost of trash services; whether it is included in their monthly rent or not. Any discussion or negotiation on this should take place between the tenant and the homeowner or landlord.
15. Q: How are we going to verify that residents continue their services?
A: On a routine basis the city in conjunction with Republic Services will conduct an audit to determine which residential dwellings (single-family residences, duplex, triplex and four-plex) are not subscribed to trash services.
16. Q: Will the Republic landfill still offer free quarterly dump weeks after these services go into effect?
A: Yes, the city will continue to have free quarterly dump weeks.
17. Q: Since Republic will have more properties to pick garbage up from, will they need to hire more people?
A: Republic Services is always hiring qualified individuals with a passion for customer service and safety. They anticipate the need to add to their workforce to service the entire City. Anyone interested can apply online at http://republicservices.jobs.
18. Q: Why an Administration Fee? How Much and What will it be used for?
A: The 8% fee the city will receive equates to .79 cents per month (or $9.48 a year) per each subscriber and will be paid on a quarterly basis by Republic Services to the city. This fee collected serves a couple of purposes:
1) Contract oversight – this will include duties of working with Republic Services on educating and transitioning residents over to consolidated trash services, maintaining city webpage on trash services; responding to inquiries from the general public and new residents on trash services and bulk trash service; conveying and resolving of customer issues received by the city; help identify and educate non-subscribers; aid in the enforcement of unacceptable trash and contaminated recycling materials.
2) Absorbing costs of the two Household Hazardous Waste Events - new revenue will help cover the two household hazardous waste events per year, each of which cost approximately $40,000. In the future and as the city grows it may even be possible to add an additional event.
It is important to note that this administrative fee won’t be realized all at once, upfront, or in a large lump sum. The administrative fee will only be collected and distributed to the city based on the number of customers, and reaching the 11,000 residential unit will take time.
The transition process will be lengthy. At full compliance the math would look like:
.79 fee x 12 months = $9.48
$9.48 x 11,000 homes = $104,280