CleanScapes picks up Issaquah garbage contract

October 25, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The next hauler for Issaquah garbage is CleanScapes.

In a unanimous decision Oct. 17, City Council members selected the Seattle-based garbage hauler to serve Issaquah neighborhoods other than Greenwood Point and South Cove. CleanScapes offered additional curbside recycling options, a local storefront, wildlife-resistant containers and other features to land the $3.8-million-per-year Issaquah contract.

Consumers could experience a rate decrease as the city transitions from the current hauler, Waste Management, to CleanScapes in early summer.

The rate could decrease from $13.43 to $12.74 for a residential customer putting a 32-gallon cart out for weekly curbside pickup — although a recent rate increase from the King County Council could dilute the proposed drop.

The contract runs from July 1 through June 2019.

“The public should realize that the staff of the city of Issaquah didn’t just put it out there and say, ‘Tell us what you can offer,’” Councilman Mark Mullet said. “They actually wrote the proposal saying, ‘This is what the city needs to have. These are the minimum, baseline service requirements that we’re going to ask for the citizens of Issaquah.’ Then, the different vendors were able to come back and say, ‘We’ll provide those at this price,’ and they could offer things on top of that.”

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members met representatives from CleanScapes and the other candidates, Allied Waste and Waste Management, Oct. 11 and sent the contract to the full council for approval.

CleanScapes serves customers in Seattle, Shoreline, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. The company and San Francisco-based Recology plan to merge, although CleanScapes CEO Chris Martin said CleanScapes intends to maintain a distinct brand and identity.

The council also heard support for CleanScapes from community members.

“Our experience with CleanScapes to date has been excellent,” Brian Daniels, Issaquah Highlands Community Association president, told council members. “They went above and beyond in their outreach to the community to put together a proposal that addresses the common concerns of the Issaquah Highlands Community Association.”

Representatives from the company met association staffers and Cathy Macchio, a highlands resident and local Grizzly Bear Outreach Project representative. The organization educates people living in wildlife-rich areas, such as Issaquah.

David Bahm, a longtime Refuse Ranger — or cleanup crew member — at the Salmon Days Festival, praised CleanScapes’ involvement in the event.

“Their team was helpful, creative, and they were involved with our planning to clean up,” he said. “They were out physically involved in the dirty work of cleaning the festival. So, they brought us both brains and muscle.”

Jeffry Borgida, Allied Waste general manager for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, lauded the selection process. The company handles collection in Greenwood Point and South Cove under a separate contract.

“Regardless of the outcome of the final decision to be made tonight, Republic Services will continue to be an environmental partner in the city of Issaquah, as the ongoing provider for our current South Cove residents over the next four years,” he said.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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