The initiative to optimize the residential waste and recycling collection system for current and future operations exemplifies the County’s commitment to safe, efficient, and excellent civic services for residents.
The County of Sacramento, Department of Waste Management & Recycling (DWMR) is contracting with SCS Engineers to study and analyze how to optimize the routing, collection, and disposal of municipal solid waste, green waste, organics, and single-stream recycling in the unincorporated area of the county. The analyses will help Sacramento control costs, provide quality services to residents, and lower their carbon footprint.
Using a three-cart system, the DWMR provides weekly residential garbage collection, every other week recycling, green waste collection, and other waste collection services to approximately 155,000 residents in unincorporated Sacramento County.
Currently, vehicles cover 71 routes and collect a total of 151,000 tons of municipal solid waste, 77,000 tons of green waste and organics, and nearly 37, 000 tons of single-stream recycling annually. Materials go to appropriate locations, including the county-owned and operated North Area Recovery Station and the Waste Management owned and operated Sacramento Recycling Center and Transfer Station.
Approximately 60 percent of residential collection activity occurs in the northern half of unincorporated Sacramento County and 40 percent in the southern half. DWMR will use SCS Engineers’ comprehensive analyses and the current residential waste collection and disposal operations to identify options for charting a path forward that will optimize collection efficiencies and reduce collection costs. The analyses examine these areas, as follows:
- Regulatory compliance, including comprehensive, cost-effective adherence to all applicable known and anticipated regulations and ordinances
- Financial and contractual controls, such as long-term agreements with haulers, processors, contractors, key suppliers, and vendors; infrastructure maintenance and construction
- Route logistics and vehicle controls, for example, the number of routes, type of vehicles, safety, carbon footprint reductions, workloads
- Community satisfaction with clear communications, ease of disposal, overall convenience, and other factors to continuously improve residential service
The SCS analyses include a model for creating alternative collection scenarios for waste and recycling operations and performing cost modeling. The model gives the County the benefit of insight into many potential options while considering various technology, best practices of the operations staff and fleet crews, and rate structures. The SCS model is in use in cities and counties across the U.S.
“The data and the way it is analyzed and interpreted will lay the foundation for collecting waste and recycling in the unincorporated area of the County,” stated Tracie Bills of SCS Engineers. “The cost savings and environmental benefits are significant supporting Sacramento residents into the future.”