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[GreenYes] Recycling Incentives for Monterey: A Resource Management Approach
Mr. Newman:

I write to you in response to the below message you posted on this GreenYes
listserve.  I am a research associate with the Tellus Institute in Boston, a
503 (c) not-for-profit research institute specializing in policy and
planning issues in such areas as energy, water, waste, and land use.  We
have been working with public and private organizations to reconsider the
way they contract for waste and recycling services for over 5 years, since
our first project in this area with General Motors.  Since this time, we
have been engaged in a national initiative to research and disseminate a
strategic alterative to traditional waste management contracting that we
call "Resource Management" in a broader array of settings, including
municipal.  Resource Management (RM) is a strategic alternative to disposal
contracting that seeks continual improvement in resource efficiency through
enhanced source reduction, recycling, and recovery.  When incentives are
tied to the value of services that foster prevention, reuse, and
recycling-with disposal as the last resort-contractors' activities align
with the customers' in a new type of joint effort (NB: customer can be any
organization, including a municipality contracting on behalf of residents).

We have found in our work that typical disposal contracts send exactly the
wrong economic signal to waste management contractors: more waste equals
more profit.  For this reason, they impede serious progress in recycling,
composting, and waste reduction by providing a profit incentive for
disposal.  RM is based on the idea that contractors will pursue recycling
and other waste minimization opportunities when offered proper financial
incentives in contracts.  RM presents a powerful means to advance waste
reduction and recovery because virtually all waste generated by
non-residential sources, and two-thirds or more of municipal solid waste is
managed through contracts.  Our case studies and research to date has shown
that RM is widely applicable in commercial, industrial, institutional, and
municipal settings.

Tellus has received funding to research and implement this concept in over
five states (including Florida, Missouri, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Nebraska)
and at the national level through the U.S. EPA's Office of Solid Waste.  The
initial phases of these projects sought to benchmark current contracting
practices, develop cost/benefit analyses of RM in partner organizations, and
provide specific recommendations to engage in key practice that constitute
RM.  The second phase is providing direct contracting assistance to select
organizations.  Other initiatives sponsored by the EPA include developing
standard contracting language, templates for evaluation, and other
information in the form of a "how to" manual, in addition to "supplier"
forums to spur interest in and grow the supplier base.  To date, a variety
of organizations, including traditional haulers, industrial cleaning
companies, consultants, property managers, and others are either directly
marketing, or have expressed interest in offering RM to their customers.

We have most recently worked with Palm Beach County, Leon County/Tallahassee
in Florida, Clark County in Nevada, and St. Charles County in Missouri to
consider RM in the municipal hauling/recycling context.  More background
information and case studies on RM can be found at  There is also a new WasteWise
Update Publication that should be posted on this site
( soon.  We are available next
week for a call to answer any questions you may have, and would be happy to
discuss our experience with you.  I have also posted this to the broader
listserve for the benefit of other readers.


Geb Marett
Research Associate
Tellus Institute, Business & Sustainability Group
11 Arlington Street
Boston, MA   02116-3411
Tel: (617) 266-5400
Fax: (617) 266-8303

> Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 08:09:03 -0700
> From: "Newman, Fairlight N. 796-1260" <>
> Subject: [GreenYes] Franchise Service Fees and Recycling Incentives
> The County of Monterey will be going out to bid very soon for a new
> franchise agreement for garbage and recycling collection . We are   
> finalizing the variable can rates and service fees and would like to
> hear from anyone that has been through this process.  Specifically,
> we are contemplating the following question: What is reasonable
> reimbursement to a hauler (contractor) for service of different
> cart sizes.  For example, if the service for a 32 gallon cart is X,
> then what is the incremental increase for 64 gallon, 96 gallon, etc.
> Is 10% a reasonable reimbursement rate?  Also, we are interested in
> receiving any ideas or suggestions from anyone who has a successful
> contract that includes strong incentives for a hauler to provide
> maximum amount of recycling.  For example, an incentive payment
> per ton recycled or term extension based on diversion requirements.
> Any other ideas?  
> Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
> Fairlight Newman
> Recycling Coordinator 
> Monterey County Environmental Health Division
> 1270 Natividad Rd. Room 102
> Salinas, CA 93906
> Phone:  (831) 796-1260
> Fax:     (831) 755-8929 

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