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WMA Board Resolves to Phase Out Benchmark Service and Fee

April 29, 2016

At its April 27 meeting, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority Board unanimously adopted a resolution that phases out the Agency’s Benchmark service and fee in June 2017, saving close to $1 million each year for garbage ratepayers in the county. The service, funded by an annual fee to garbage account holders in Alameda County, was developed to increase the level of waste reduction in households and businesses in the county. 

The service began in 2013 and has provided account holders with information on waste reduction performance, showing communities and businesses the amount of waste that they could have prevented. The idea for the program, based on academic studies, was that feedback to account holders on recycling performance would result in improved recycling habits.

The program includes data collection on the amount of recyclable and compostable material in garbage containers, analysis of the data, and a report of findings sent to account holders. After completing an evaluation of the service, the Agency determined that there are other approaches that can be used in the future outside of the Benchmark service and fee to communicate about recycling best practices.  

 “We value innovation and I appreciate the creativity of staff for developing novel approaches to stopping waste, including this service,“ said ACWMA Board President Jerry Pentin.  “And I applaud the Agency for rescinding a fee and not trying to repurpose it for another use. That’s rare these days for a public agency.”

Account holders will continue paying for the fee (ranging from $1.74 to $20.68 annually depending on the level of garbage service) through June 30, 2017, with a final report going out to account holders in July, 2017. More information on the Benchmark service can be found at