Los Altos Hills has capitalized on its garbage hauler’s change of ownership to negotiate more favorable terms for the town and its residents.

Official word of GreenWaste Recovery’s agreement to contractual and service changes arrived Friday (Nov. 12) evening with the release of a town staff report accompanying the city council’s agenda for its meeting Thursday.

“Staff’s goal was trying to get GreenWaste to commit to service changes as well as contractual changes, and I believe that this amendment satisfies both of those,” said Cody Einfalt, a town management analyst who worked on the deal.

The city council is expected to approve an amendment to its 15-year, $60 million franchise agreement while also granting the consent GreenWaste needs from its customers to transfer a controlling percentage of its capital stock to MIP V Waste LLC, a subsidiary of Macquarie Asset Management of Australia.

If approved, the second amendment to the two parties’ franchise agreement would replace a 9% rate increase scheduled to start July 1 with a rate increase based on the consumer price index (CPI), according to the staff report. Also, the 9% rate increase scheduled to start July 2023 would change to 7.52% plus CPI, with the final number not exceeding a total increase of 9%.

When negotiating the original contract, which was signed in July 2019, GreenWaste reps justified rate hikes by pointing to the 2016 passage of California Senate Bill 1383. The law made it illegal to comingle garbage with compostable material, raising sorting costs by necessitating the use of separate collection vehicles and designated collection points. Hills residents had to start paying extra if accessing their bins required the use of special vehicles.

It has become evident, however, that Los Altos Hills might benefit from an exemption from SB 1383’s comingling requirements because GreenWaste diverts enough materials from landfills, Einfalt explained. And the town will have a better understanding of the company’s revenue based on monthly reports it must submit beginning July 2023.

The town and GreenWaste will continue to work on a revised collection plan, the report stated. If they are unable to reach an agreement, a rate increase of 9% scheduled to start July 2024 will be replaced by a CPI increase.

In addition, the amendment adds six street segments to the street-sweeping list: Aric Lane, La Paloma Road, Mora Drive, Page Mill Road, Ravensbury Avenue and West Loyola Drive.