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City to Pick Through Trash Contract

Council to consider hiring an auditing firm to make sure CR&R is adhering to its terms and giving good customer service.

A closer look at San Juan Capistrano’s trash is in order, according to the City Council agenda.

Or rather, the contract with the service that picks up that trash.

On Tuesday evening, a newly constituted City Council is expected to authorize an audit into the city’s current contract with CR&R Waste Services.

The contract was struck in 1996, and has been modified several times, according to a staff report. But since the original deal was adopted, the city has not ever looked to see if the provisions are being followed.

“The audit is to verify that CR&R is complying with terms of the franchise agreement, and includes a review of customer service levels, billing, fee payments” and other technical requirements, the staff report states.

City staff solicited bids for auditing services, with three firms submitting qualified bids. The one scheduled for approval Tuesday night came in far lower than the other two bids, just under $24,000 versus $84,000 and above, according to the staff report.

CR&R’s contract with the city requires a five-year notice if the city wants to cancel it.

City Manager Karen Brust explained at a previous council meeting that the city cannot give its five-year notice until 2014. Although the contract runs through 2019, each year after 2014, it automatically adds another year to the term, always keeping the five-year-notice rule intact.

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