Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works


July 31, 2008


August 12, 2008







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


New Operating Contract for the Pescadero Transfer Station



Adopt a resolution:



Authorizing the President of the Board to execute an agreement covering the period of August 15, 2008 through August 14, 2015 (7 years) with Allied Waste Services (AWS) for the operation, recovery, transport, and disposal of Solid Waste, Recyclables, and Reusables at the Pescadero Transfer Station (TS/MRF) for a maximum cost of $340,000 per year; and



Authorizing the Director of Public Works to annually adjust the gate fees for the users of the TS/MRF up to the Consumer Price Index increase.



Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

Goal 20: Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impacts rather than temporary relief or immediate gain.


This agreement is expected to dramatically increase the recycling rate at this facility and expand important services to the unincorporated region of the southern coast.



In 1986, the County opened the Pescadero Transfer Station and Material Recovery Facility (TS/MRF) replacing the Pescadero Sanitary Landfill. This facility provides solid waste disposal and recycling options to the South Coastal area of San Mateo County. AWS collects the materials and transfers it to a recycling facility or sanitary landfill. The TS/MRF site can accept up to 10 tons of waste per day.


The current cost to operate this facility is $315,000 per year and is financed from the Solid Waste Fund (SWF). Monies going into the Fund come from the fees paid for the disposal of waste at the Ox Mountain landfill. The State mandates through AB 939 that local jurisdictions divert at least 50% of the waste stream from landfills. The SWF is used to pay for the County’s recycling and reuse programs that are instrumental in meeting this mandate. The facility users offset a portion of these costs with gate fees charged for disposal. The revenue from these fees is used to offset a portion of the costs to operate the TS/MRF facility. The current gate fee revenue is approximately $26,000 per year. These fees have not been adjusted since the early 1990s.The current recycling rate of materials at this site is around 20 percent. Public Works has developed a plan with the goal of increasing the recovery/recycling percentage at the site to at least 50 percent over a three-year period.


The Department hired a consultant to conduct a public survey of the site users and the materials being disposed, as well as manage the RFP process for selecting a site operator. Additional public input was solicited during two Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council (PMAC) meetings held on February 10 and May 13, 2008. Feedback was received from over 750 site-users. The RFP had two goals: 1) to significantly increase the site’s recovery/recycling rate and 2) to reduce the subsidy by the SWF to operate the facility. The RFP also encouraged the implementation of innovative programs for reuse of materials such as clothes, furniture and various other items. The County’s budget for FY 08/09 includes a site improvement project to improve traffic flow; better accommodate recycling of new materials; and improve the staging areas for expanded recycling and reuse opportunities.



On April 18th, 2008, the RFP solicitation period was closed. The County received two responsive bids from Green Waste Recovery (GWR) and AWS. The RFP evaluation and selection committee, which included a member of PMAC, selected AWS’ proposal based on the following criteria: 1) longstanding site expertise, 2) lower annual operating costs than GWR and 3) a proposed increase in the site’s recycling diversion over a two-year period. The proposal also included innovative material reuse initiatives. The evaluation and selection committee also considered the high satisfaction ratings of AWS’s service cited by the customers.


Staff and the PMAC reviewed the TS/MRF financials and agreed that gate fee adjustments would be needed to reduce the facilities financial impacts to the County. A survey of comparable rural transfer station fees was also conducted. It is recommended that the Director of Public Works be authorized to adjust TS/MRF gate fees to offset disposal and transfer costs of solid waste and recyclables.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the resolution and contract as to form, and Risk Management has approved all insurance provisions.



There is no Net County Cost impact. The operating and recycling costs for this site will continue to be funded by the SWF. Public Works is working together with the County Manager’s Office to resolve the structural deficit that currently exists in the SWF. Increasing the gate fees at the TS/MRF is one of the strategies to resolve the structural deficit.