Woodside may consider seeking competitive bids for garbage contract


The Woodside Town Council expressed its dissatisfaction with a proposed 10-year solid waste disposal contract with San Jose-based GreenWaste Recovery Tuesday (Nov. 12) by agreeing to consider seeking competing proposals from other agencies.

The GreenWaste contract calls for a 32% rate increase for 68% of customers who have curbside service and hikes from 50% to 403% for "concierge service" customers who need workers to walk or drive onto their properties to reach their collection carts.

GreenWaste has said that the higher drive-on and walk-on fees are a result of needing to buy smaller collection trucks that can navigate narrow hillside roads, the additional employee time needed to service the properties, and other factors.

The drive-on and walk-on customers have previously paid the same as curbside customers.

Portola Valley and Woodside have the same solid waste disposal contract, and Portola Valley will be considering the contract at its council meeting tonight (Nov. 13).

The Woodside council will meet again on Tuesday (Nov. 19) to weigh the results of the Portola Valley meeting as well as the possibility of filing a request for proposal from other companies.


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6 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Nov 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm

What? A competitive bid for an important and necessary service? What a radical idea!

((It’s about time...))

6 people like this
Posted by Glen
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Nov 13, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Glad to hear they're reconsidering this. The base service level includes so many more bins, which are not needed by many Glens residents. Why force everyone to pay for bins they may not need, and incentivize more waste?

6 people like this
Posted by Mac
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 14, 2019 at 10:14 am

A 10-year contract for millions of dollars should require competitive bids. I am on the RWC boundary, and the cost across the street by Recology is $79 for my neighbor for the same service that the new contact with Greenwaste would charge me $129 for.

7 people like this
Posted by David B
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Glen, it was interesting last night to hear the presentation in Portola Valley, and learn about the insanely complex world that refuse companies are living in. Addressing your issue, they decided long ago that if they charged for recycling and yard waste bins, people would save money by having fewer of those bins, so they would throw their stuff in the normal trash when their (small number of) blue and green bins filled up. Therefore they feel the way to incentivize recycling is to only charge for the trash bin (now called Mixed Compostables) and make the others "free". Yet, some people were taking advantage of the unlimited blue and green bins in the last contract, so now they're trying to limit it to a reasonable number.

And, the whole thing about green bins on big streets but gray bins on small streets is driven by size of the trucks and state requirements... they can't get a big 3-bin truck onto the small streets, and the state requires that if you have a two-bin truck, it can only pick up grey and blue cans.

I have great sympathy for the company.

4 people like this
Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Rick Radin wrote:
“ The drive-on and walk-on customers have previously paid the same as curbside customers.”

Rick — take a look at the current GW rate sheet at Web Link

Look at the very first table, with a column labelled “distance”. What do you see?

II see a rate of $96 for a 96 gal. pickup at “0-10” feet and a $123 rate at 100-200 feet with other rates at other distance.

Looking at the preposed new rates, I timed the driver going up and down my 140 ft driveway and it would have cost me over $2,000/hour for that “service”.

I would love to see what mathematical magic Greenwaste did to justify that number.

Also, how did this proposal get all the way to the town council before it was sanity checked?

3 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm

awatkins -

While I'm not defending the new rates, Greenwaste is proposing an additional $27 if you choose not to put your 96 gallon trash can curbside. You can avoid this charge simply by bringing your garbage can to the curb (as most of us do) every Thursday morning.

The $27 each month is to have their worker walk the 200 feet to your home to get your garbage can, transport your full garbage can 200 feet to the curb, return the empty can back 200 feet to your home and then return to their truck before they can get moving again. That's a total of 800 feet or about 1/8th of a mile. Over the course of a month, that's more than a half of mile - half of which is transporting your garbage can. My guess is that the extra half mile each month will take an extra 15 minutes or so of a worker's time.

While not a bargain, that hardly seems outrageous to me. As I said, it's pretty easy to avoid.

4 people like this
Posted by Tim Johnson
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 16, 2019 at 10:56 am

My primary concern regarding the proposed new Greenwaste contract is the size of the containers required to be used. The ninety-six gallon containers for recycling (blue), yard waste (green), and mixed compostables (gray) are HUGE. They are heavy enough by themselves. When loaded, they are hard to manage. My neighborhood has steep slopes with many homes accessed by long driveways. Lugging these huge containers up and down these driveways will be a real chore. And the containers when loaded are too large and heavy to load into a truck or SUV to carry them to and from the pickup point on the main access roads. As a result, it is likely these containers will be left by the access road throughout the week. This will result in an unsightly appearance that detracts from the rural character of the Town. I urge the Town to reevaluate the proposed contract with Greenwaste and, at a minimum, reduce the size of the required containers.

4 people like this
Posted by Mt. Home
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Nov 16, 2019 at 9:51 pm

Per the web link on Alan Watkins post, you can pick from 20/32/64/96 gallon cans as your base service, so the argument about cans being too big is moot.

Like this comment
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 17, 2019 at 9:02 am

Tim Johnson - you make a very good point about the size of the recycle and yard waste cans. They are HUGE.

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