San Francisco Citizen Group to Fight in Court the Citys Recology Waste Agreement

A citizen group in San Francisco is preparing to argue in court that the city should reopen the bidding process on the city’s long-term waste hauling contract with Recology Inc.

The Yuba Group Against Garbage (YuGAG) will argue in California Superior Court on March 27 that the city, by failing to conduct an environmental review prior to reaching an agreement with long-time San Francisco-based hauler Recology, violated procedures defined by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its own request for proposal and administrative code.

“Approving the project prior to completing a satisfactory CEQA review amounts to a failure to proceed in a manner required by law,” said Brigit Barnes, coalition spokesman and YuGAG attorney. “The city’s subsequent attempt to fix the CEQA violation by terminating the 10-year agreement with Recology is ineffective because the statutorily mandated order of actions [first to certify the EIR document and then to consider the project, including any essential mitigations] is reversed.”

Last June voters in San Francisco voted to turn down a proposal to open up waste and recycling collection to competitive bidding. The issued was rejected by about 77 percent of the electorate. For 80 years the city has operated a permitting system that is essentially capped.


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