Crown vs. Harrison: Wide gap in residential fees offered by refuse bidders

March 16, 2011
Santa Paula City Council

It is expected that at the Monday meeting the City Council will accept the best and final offers from two private haulers and then make a decision on one.

That decision could lead to a multi-million-franchise agreement for the winner, an estimated $315,000 annual franchise fee for the city, and much lower rates for Santa Paulans.

One bidder, Crown Disposal, offers a dramatic drop in customer rates and an added senior discount on fees, as well as opening a local office and an added $90,000 annual income to the city by renting its Palm Yard.

Crown Disposal of Sun Valley and E. J. Harrison & Sons both do business with the city: Crown handles construction waste and Harrison commercial accounts. Both are family owned, with long histories in the business, and are supportive to communities they serve.

But they have offered greatly different rates to Santa Paula customers, just one facet of the proposals they submitted to the city last year. The proposals were graded on 120 points, based on various factors including price, recycling rate and employment opportunities for present city employees.

Crown received a 96 percent grade with 115 points, and Harrison 83 percent with 99 points. Waste Management matched Harrison’s score, but according to the city report was found to be unresponsive and is not being considered for a franchise agreement.

One minor glitch was that Crown did not attend the pre-bid meeting for franchise haulers, but the council voted to overlook the - never asked about - absence and accepted Crown’s bid package.

Score results were: Technical Quality - Crown 28, Harrison 25. Price - Crown 30, Harrison 25. Overall Solution - Crown 29, Harrison 26. Cost Effectiveness - Crown 28, Harrison 23. The comparison of proposed rates offered to the council at the February 22 meeting shows Crown is the leader by far for consumers.

Both haulers are offering three different can sizes: Monthly rates for a 35 gallon container: Crown $13.47; 32 gallon, Harrison $24. 65 gallon: Crown $17.47; 64 gallon, Harrison $25.50.

96 gallon is the standard size of the present residential trash bin, for which the city charges $27.50 a month. Crown would offer a 95-gallon can for $21.47 and Harrison would charge $27 for the 96 gallon.

Harrison’s residential fees are noted as being “Year 1 and Year 2 rates.”

In addition, Crown is offering a 15 percent discount to seniors.

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