Crown Disposal offers update to Council after first year of service

July 18, 2012
Santa Paula City Council

Crown Disposal gave an update to the City Council a year after it took over the city operated refuse business.

Brian Yanez, interim public works director, told the council at the June 18 meeting that the change to private operation “had a bumpy start, not due to anything” other than change, that included expanding the number of bins to three and a change in the billing cycle. “They continue to be very responsive to my needs” and, noted Yanez, “my needs are what the community wants.... We have a good relationship and I look forward to continue working with them.”

Crown General Manager Tim Fry told the council the awarding of the contract was “a passionate and sometimes heated process, very competitive,” after which the council “showed their faith and hopefully trust in us” to not only provide service, but to also become a “community partner.”

The company kept all city employees, and the employment agreement with the city that all staff would be kept for a minimum of two years is not a concern. “We assured them we are not looking at that two year mark,” and Fry said the community is looked to first to fill all new employment opportunities.

Crown also has a local office, “unique to us and also appealing,” that allows better customer service as well as communications with the city on operations. “Any time there is an issue of any size” it can be and is dealt with immediately, reflecting a company policy of same day service that Fry said is an obligation taken “very seriously” by the company. 

In addition, Crown shops Santa Paula: “We wanted to make sure any capital expense, vehicles, fuel, anything that generated revenue,” would be done locally, as “we will make sure those sales tax dollars stay in Santa Paula.”

Crown has also been active in the community on a different level: the company has helped sponsor various activities and events. “We wanted to make it our goal, a priority, not to say ‘no’ to any group” as, noted Fry, “we wanted to make sure we spread the dollars around.... These are tough times” that have impacted nonprofits.

In the past year Crown Disposal donated more than $30,000 “and we anticipate that is going up... it’s a priority for us to see that as something that will not change.”

Another priority, said Fry is diversion rates, keeping things out of landfills by recycling with a goal set by the council at 60 percent.

“We looked at all the waste streams and what those opportunities were,” leading to a citywide food waste collection program

Fry told the council the program over a 10-month period collected just under 1,700 tons of food waste and, “Of that we diverted just under 1,500 tons.”

Crown sponsors four drop off events each year and the company had promised the city it would make available to the community 25 tons of free compost at each event. 

“By noon,” of each drop off Fry said the compost had been given away as “People couldn’t get enough of that... now we’re pledging to give away 50 tons at each drop off event.”

What Fry didn’t mention that a hefty donation has been made to each youth group that has helped at the drop offs.

Crown, added Fry plans to continue to find ways to be a good community partner and “We appreciate the trust you put in us.”

“I think it’s been a win-win for the citizens and Crown,” and support is appreciated said Mayor Bob Gonzales.

“At first people said the other group,” vying for the contract, “gave to our organizations and you gave as much if not more.”

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