MOORLACH UPDATE — OC180NEWS — June 24, 2010

Let’s talk trash.

David and Dolores Barr are enjoying their roles in the electronic journalism forum with OC180NEWS.

But, there is a slight bias:  the Barrs live in Rossmoor.  With that in mind, maybe the story could have been slanted like this:

“Although the County successfully bid down the Rossmoor CR&R contract by 8 percent while also finally converting to the automatic pick up bins, the city of Los Alamitos found the competitive bid process provided a better rate a few months later.”

When I mentioned that this is a fine example of why Rossmoor should consider annexing into Los Alamitos, David Barr provided the lecture on how Rossmoor residents were resistant to change.

For a very, very local issue that once again reminds us that life is not fair, here is the piece in the OC180NEWS.


Los Alamitos Awards Competitive Bid Trash Hauling Contract—Residents Save 30% Over County’s Non-Bid Contract For Rossmoor

Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher,

The competitive bid process for awarding a new trash hauling contract for the City of Los Alamitos, which ended with a contract award on Monday, was very contentious, but they are saving substantially over what residents of Rossmoor will pay without the benefit of a competitive bid contract.

Los Al received 7 proposals in response to their first ever competitive proposal process. The contract recently awarded by Orange County on behalf of the residents of Rossmoor, was a negotiated, but not competitively bid, ten year exclusive deal.

Both residents of Rossmoor and Los Al will see their rates go down with the new contracts. The Los Al contract goes into effect in January, 2011 and includes about a 20% savings. Rossmoor residents will see their new contract come into affect July 1, 2010, and rates will go down by 8%.

But, even though both rates are going down, Rossmoor residents will pay substantially more than Los Alamitos. Not only that, but the rate quoted by the vendor selected by the county for Rossmoor, CR&R, quoted an even lower rate for providing the same residential services in Los Al.

In Los Al, residents must separate their waste into three different bins for trash, recycling, and green waste. Rossmoor residents, based on public hearing testimony, requested to pay an additional $1.28 to avoid that annoyance. Thus, while the actual monthly rate residents of Rossmoor will pay is $16.65 per month, the incremental fee for non-separation should be subtracted from that rate for comparison with Los Al’s rate.

After adjusting for the non-separation fee, the Rossmoor pro forma monthly rate would be $15.37. This rate is $4.00, or 35% higher than the rate CR&R offered Los Alamitos for the same residential trash pick up. Over the ten year term of the agreement, that will cost the residents of Rossmoor about $480.00.

In addition to new rates, on July 1, 2010, Rossmoor residents will join the rest of Orange County in using the automatic pick up bins. Three of these new 96 gallon bins will be delivered to each residence next week and after a transition period, the hauler will not pick up anything which is not in the bins. Gone will be the days when Rossmoor residents could essentially put out as much trash as they wanted.

Dean Ruffridge, Senior Vice President of CR&R told the new service will be provided by brand new natural gas fueled trucks which cost about $240,000 each.

We asked county representatives at OC Waste & Recycling, CR &R’s Ruffridge, Supervisor John M.W. Moorlach, and Rick Francis, his Chief of Staff, why the contract for Rossmoor was not sent out for competitive bidding. Essentially everyone we asked said that was a good question, but we did not get a reportable answer. In fact, Rick Francis told us “Nothing else in the county really works like that.”

Supervisor Moorlach suggested it might be to allow CR&R To recover the cost of their new trucks. Several suggested the lack of commercial customers in Rossmoor might be at least part of the reason.

Based on our discussions with the officials involved, it seems that OC Waste & Recycling negotiated the Rossmoor rate down from $18.18 to $16.65, decided that was good enough, and there was no need to send the contract out to bid. They brought this 8% fee reduction proposal to the Board of Supervisors at the December 8, 2009 meeting and the board approved the 10 year deal.

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