The city implemented a commercial rate structure on July 1, 2006 that provides for discounts based upon your business's diversion rate. Under the Uniform Commercial Rate Structure, rates charged for all commercial refuse and recycling collection services are based on a single set of rate tables that do not differentiate between the types of commercial collection services.
The Uniform Commercial Rate Structure includes base and variable rates and a recycling incentive program. The base rate covers fixed system costs. The variable rate is based on the service volume for refuse, recycling and composting collection. Under the Uniform Commercial Rate Structure the fixed costs remain constant and the variable rate is discounted in proportion to the percentage of diversion service volume up to 75 percent.
The recycling incentive program is the mechanism determining the actual diversion rates on a customer specific basis. Upon measuring the diversion rate, a calculation is performed to provide for a recycling incentive. The incentive will then be applied to the variable portion of the refuse and recycling bill. The maximum allowable incentive obtainable is 75 percent.
Businesses that participate in the Diversion Incentive Program and are eligible for rebates under this system, separate their waste stream into two or three distinct components and make all recycling tonnage they produce available for collection by Golden Gate Disposal or Recology Sunset Scavenger.
Customers participating in this program must consistently produce:
- A stream of mixed, also called co-mingled recyclables (bottles, cans and paper), that is relatively free of contamination.
- A waste stream of non-recyclable material.
- And if applicable, a third stream of compostable material (food scraps or yard trimmings).
Customers must actively do their part to clean up their mixed recycling (bottles, cans and paper) so it does not contain more than 5 percent non-recyclable material or items that are potentially recyclable but cannot be easily marketed.
Items that are considered prohibitive cause recycled bales to be immediately rejected at secondary recycling facilities (paper mills, etc.) and are not acceptable in any amount include: non-recyclable garbage, medical waste, universal waste and hazardous waste.
If a commercial customer cannot consistently produce a relatively contaminant free stream of mixed recyclables, their participation in the program may be suspended and or terminated. Prior to suspension and, or termination, the collection company (Golden Gate Disposal or Recology Sunset Scavenger) will provide written notification identifying the contaminants and a reasonable period of time will be provided for the customer to eliminate the contamination.
While we understand that not every commercial customer may be able to participate in the recycling incentive program, we maintain a discount of up to 10 percent for commercial customers that participate in the clear-bag program whereby recyclables are commingled with trash in clear plastic bags.
What is required to obtain the "Rebate"?
- A commercial customer can use the recycling calculator
to analyze their monthly bill and determine the type and amount of recycling they would like to pursue/implement. The calculator will show each commercial customer what "rebate" amounts could be achieved.
- If you feel you need assistance analyzing your waste handling needs and services, you can schedule a consultation with the Golden Gate Disposal representative. Our staff can help you address the type and amount of service you want to consider; and the size and type of equipment to use, including compactors and bailers. Our staff can also help you apply the calculator formulas to realistically look at how much and what type of recycling is possible.
What is Your Commitment?
If and when you establish a new or an increased recycling program (with the goal of separating recyclable or compostable material from the refuse your business generates), it is your business's responsibility to implement and manage the program internally as designed. Golden Gate and Sunset can help in many ways and will provide you outreach and education materials and other assistance and will collect materials from your refuse and recycling containers on a schedule (one to seven days a week) you request.
The one area that reduces, if not eliminates, the value of recycling is "contamination". If non-recyclable garbage is mixed with recyclables in a cart, bin and/or compactor, the recyclables are disposed of as garbage thereby making the "Rebate Program" ineffective and jeopardizing your continued participation in the program.
- The cost of garbage and recycling services is the same.
- Due to escalating operational and disposal costs the price for these services will increase over time.
- The "Rebate Program" provides options for your business to recycle more of your trash and reduce your monthly service bill.
- Golden Gate Disposal and Recology Sunset Scavenger companies can provide the necessary services and programs, but it is up to each commercial business to implement and properly use these programs in order to manage service costs and help San Francisco achieve its recycling goals.