The City of West Hollywood has contracted with MuniEnvironmental for professional services to review its solid waste franchise agreement.
“Waste hauling is expensive,” says MuniEnvironmental CEO and Principal Consultant Jeff Duhamel. “In the City of West Hollywood, costs for solid waste franchise services are not only a significant annual expenditure but also one of the most difficult for which to account. We will help assess the solid waste franchise agreement to ensure it benefits the community.”
For West Hollywood, MuniEnvironmental will audit the rate adjustment request submitted by its current solid waste hauler to verify the consistency of the rate calculations with the rate adjustment provisions of the franchise agreement, including proper application of the rate adjustment indices. MuniEnvironmental also will verify that the percentage changes in the rate adjustment indices used in the rate adjustment formula have been properly calculated and, if necessary, re-cast the rate schedules if inaccuracies are identified.
The project will culminate in a multi-stage reporting process that will include a preliminary summary of findings to confirm MuniEnvironmental’s and the city’s mutual understanding of the data provided, a draft report for review by the city and a final report that reflects feedback from both the city and the waste services contractor. MuniEnvironmental will then review the report’s findings with City staff.
MuniEnvironmental has an extensive background of auditing solid waste service providers, both in service rate modifications and operational cost reviews. Over the past 25 years, observes Duhamel, the solid waste industry has evolved significantly, from a simple, two-component cost structure (collection and a pass-through disposal component), to the current complex, multi-faceted cost structure that includes collection of multiple waste streams, mandatory recycling programs, materials recovery processing (MRF), long-haul transfer costs, and distant landfill tipping fees.
Prior to agreeing to a solid waste and/or recycling service provider’s rate adjustment, advises Duhamel, municipalities should conduct a professional audit of the rate adjustment request to verify the consistency of the rate calculations with the rate adjustment provisions of the franchise agreement, including proper application of the rate adjustment indices. A professional audit also can verify that the percentage changes in the rate adjustment indices used in the rate adjustment formula have been properly calculated.
“The best way to negotiate an optimal agreement is by entering the room with as much—if not more—information than the hauler,” says Duhamel. “MuniEnvironmental promotes that the franchisee and franchisor relationship be fair and equitable to both parties. That’s what we do.”
With proven expertise in the Solid Waste and Recycling Industries, the experienced professional staff of MuniEnvironmental provides consulting services to governmental agencies attempting to implement mandated regulatory requirements while also striving to preserve their leadership and administrative role with their contract service providers and the business community. For more information, please visit munienvironmental.com or call 562-432-3700.