Single-hauler trash contract emerges at Paradise Valley Town Hall

The Town of Paradise Valley hosted a Dec. 7 work session discussion on the prospects of a single-hauler trash and recycle collection contract with Republic Services for all town residents. (Independent Newsmedia/Terrance Thornton)

While the Town of Paradise Valley touts itself as a model of limited government, its local governing board is embarking upon the creation of municipal rules determining how, when and by whom local rubbish can be delivered to local landfills.

Paradise Valley Town Council on Thursday, Dec. 7, discussed the parameters of negotiated terms for a seven year, single-trash-hauler contract won by Republic Services following a bid process evaluated by a five-person panel at Town Hall.

The Town of Paradise Valley historically has a free-market system offering residents the ability to choose their own trash hauler. Today, trash outfits providing service in the Town of Paradise Valley include Area Disposal, Right Away Disposal, Republic Services, Scott Waste Services and Waste Management.

A representative from Republic Services explains to members of Paradise Valley Town Council the benefits of the proposed Republic Services contract. (Independent Newsmedia/Terrance Thornton)

All trash haulers are required to obtain and maintain an annual license agreement with the municipality at a cost of $500.

Collection containers may be placed at the curb the night before collection day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and must be removed from the street and stored in a screened area by the end of the collection day, according to the town’s website.

Paradise Valley trash haulers are required to pickup trash two times a week while recyclables have to be removed at least twice a month, according to town code.

Every few years the idea of how trash is collected and carried away from the Town of Paradise Valley permeates through the minds of elected leaders whereas this latest iteration began with an April 2016 Community Conversation, followed by a change in ordinance in October of that year and an issuance of a formal bid for one company to take over the municipal rubbish needs.

On July 6, 2017 a formal request for proposals was issued by the Town of Paradise Valley with responses hitting Town Hall Sept. 6, 2017.

Proposals were evaluated by a five-member panel — three members of town staff, one resident and one from a town who has recently changed over to a single-trash-hauler model. Evaluations were based upon the RFP criteria.

The identities of the five-member panel were not discussed at the Dec. 7 public hearing.

Paradise Valley Town Manager Kevin Burke says following the evaluation of the five-member internal panel, Republic Services and Right Away Disposal were the top two respondents followed by Waste Management and Curbside Recycling and Disposal.

Paradise Valley Town Council is expected to launch a public relations campaign alerting residents to its plans on exploring the single-hauler contract culminated by a 4 p.m. Community Conversation Thursday, Jan. 25 at Town Hall.

The terms of the contract

Highlights of the negotiated terms discussed at Town Hall included tenets requiring Republic Services to operate newer vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, all residents will receive new garbage cans and there will now be an annual hazardous waste disposal service.

Republic Services is requesting to, if the proposed contract is agreed upon, a three-month trial period providing all town residents once-a-week trash pick up from July 2018 until September 2018.

However, local HOAs within town limits, where officials believe there are about 20 entities that could be affected, will be allowed to keep their service for three calendar years if town council moves forward with the contract.

But for HOAs to keep their contract for an additional three years, the agreements have to have been in place prior to July 14, 2017. HOAs with agreements prior to 2014 can keep their existing service until 2021, officials say.

Proposed monthly costs would begin for base service, which is identified as once-a-week trash pick up, in July 2018 at $17.84 then incrementally be increased until July 2024 where costs top out at $21.93.

“Customized service has always been something that has been a concern,” Mr. Burke said at the Dec. 7 work session discussion. “Some people could receive higher rates and there is concern there. The drawback was the aspect of limited regulation — we looked at a variety of solutions.”

Mr. Burke says Republic Services is the best option that came out of the RFP process.
When asked directly if he believes Paradise Valley ought to enter into the single-hauler contract, Mr. Burke, in a way, said it is the preferred approach.

“I lean towards it,” he said. “From an administrative standpoint, this is the preferred option. But that is where my job ends and your job starts. I will tell you that I hear a lot of complaints about frequency and cans out on the street. Those are the elements.”

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace outlines her thoughts on the potential for a single-hauler trash contract being developed with Republic Services. (Independent Newsmedia/Terrance Thornton)

‘I was very surprised it was Republic’

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace says she was surprised Republic Services won the bid issued by the town.

“What is the benefit? I was very surprised it was Republic,” she said at the onset of her questions to Mr. Burke.

“Are you aware of anyone paying less than $17.84? The ranges I have been told were from $40 to $85 for monthly service. The overall pitch we are going to be asking the community: it sounds like it’s millions of savings for the majority of our residents — we are talking about a lot of savings for residents.”

Councilwoman Pace says she wants to get past the philosophical conversation and get down to the nuts and bolts of providing service.

“We, currently in our town, with the five trash carriers, they generally come twice a week for garbage and maybe once a week for recycle,” she said.

“We go from 10 vehicles in front of a house a day in our community and now we are going down two or three. The public feedback is really important because this has taken so long — I don’t want to short-circuit our residents.”

Paradise Valley Councilman Paul Dembow has a different perspective.

“To take that 20 percent of residents (those who live in an HOA and have a trash-hauling contract) in the town and say you are going to drive up costs period,” he remarked during the study session discussion. “And, you are going to increase their costs 60 percent — no matter the twice a week — that is a nonstarter. After three years it goes from that to a higher one. Anyone not on contract that is going to go up.”

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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