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APACHE JUNCTION – The city council has approved an updated solid waste ordinance and a contract with a single company to handle solid waste, recycling and disposal services for single family homes, duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes in Apache Junction.

On Dec. 3 the city council voted 5-2 to adopt an updated solid waste ordinance. Ordinance No. 1483 brings the city in line with state law and county regulations, and allows for a single hauler to provide residential solid waste disposal services within the city.

Mobile home parks, RV parks and businesses that fall under commercial solid waste collection laws are not impacted by this ordinance. Homeowners associations that have current contracts in place with a single hauler will fulfill the terms of their contracts. The single hauler contract with Republic Services was also approved by a 5-2 vote.

In the spring of 2018, the city received a recommendation to move to a single hauler solid waste collection system from Arizona State University’s Project Cities program. The recommendation was based upon best practices in Arizona for residential solid waste and recycling management. The city council directed staff in May 2018 to further research and develop a bid process for city council to review. That process began in June 2019 and the three largest waste companies in the nation: Republic Services, Waste Management and Waste Connections (which acquired Right Away Disposal) submitted bid proposals. Those bids were then scored using a standard set of criteria by a city panel.

On Aug. 6, the city council directed staff to enter into contract negotiations with Republic Services.

The city has considered this type of approach to solid waste collection several times in the past. Among the benefits of this change include decreasing the barriers of solid waste disposal, reducing the cost of solid waste services for residents, lessening the impacts on neighborhoods and roads that stem from having three different companies on collection days and improving the efficiency and simplifying other city services like street maintenance and street sweeping.

Republic Services and the city will conduct a comprehensive public outreach and education effort on service options and the timing of start of service in the coming months. The transition to the new service is expected in the spring of 2020.