Northern California based recycling company buys Crown Disposal

November 21, 2014
Santa Paula News

A deal that was first reported in Kern County newspapers and revealed to employees several weeks ago has been formally announced meaning Santa Paula residents and businesses will have a new waste hauler.

The acquisition of Crown Disposal by Recology, an employee-owned resource recovery company in the western United States, was revealed Friday in a press release from the City of Santa Paula.

Recology services are anticipated to begin in January 2015; the deal, according to news’ reports, is set to close January 5.

According to the press release, “The City of Santa Paula will work closely with Recology during this transition process. Recology will remain focused on proper recycling and excellent customer service.”

Under the franchise agreement with Crown Disposal — the city’s contract runs through May 2018 — the city is empowered to review and approve the transfer if, said City Manager Jaime Fontes, “Recology can demonstrate to our satisfaction that it has the operational and financial ability to provide the services required by the franchise agreement.

Prior to any transfer, he noted, “The City will ensure that Recology will continue to assist Santa Paula in keeping rates low, reducing waste, and increasing the city's required landfill diversion rates.” 

The city, according to the press release, “does not anticipate” that the transition to Recology will result in any changes to truck routes or service days or otherwise disrupt trash service. 

“Recology will continue to provide the highest quality and best value service to the Santa Paula community,” said Joe Matz, Recology Los Angeles General Manager. “Moreover, we are excited for Crown Disposal employees to join the Recology team.”

In April 2011 the City Council — citing a fiscal crisis and amid much controversy — entered a franchise agreement with Crown and sold all its equipment to the Sun Valley-based, family owned company. Former city employees joined the Crown team, which proved to be a strong community booster and supporter.

But controversy erupted again when the council approved the sale of the former wastewater treatment plant property on Corporation Road for $1.6 million in March 2013. The sale of the approximately 8-acre parcel included a caveat, a city agreement to accept a $1 a ton “host fee” for whatever imported refuse Crown processed on the property through any future waste disposal services that are entitled.

In November 2013 a tradeoff brokered by the city and Crown delayed price increases for customers by two years to July 2015 and extended the length of the contract from 2016 to 2018. Santa Paula has been collecting approximately $300,000 in annual franchise fees from Crown.

Just last month the council approved without comment an environmental review of the property, which the staff report noted is targeted to hold a 45,000 square foot materials recovery facility, the construction of a food digester, creation of aerated composting piles and a recycled natural gas fueling station.

Recology is an employee-owned integrated resource recovery and landfill diversion company that provides collection, recycling, compost, consulting and disposal services to homes and businesses in the western United States. The company manages municipal processes and services, including urban cleaning services, collection, and sorting, transfer, recovery, and landfill management. Recology companies operate in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington coordinating dozens of recycling programs to recover a variety of materials.

The company also has a celebrated arts program that encourages artists to turn refuse into art.

The goal of the company is to have a purpose or recycling model for all waste.

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