This article provides the SCS methodology used to make projections for the financial performance of solid waste collection and disposal during a five-year planning period for the City of Pensacola, Florida. The projections were then used to model different possible rate structures for approval by the City Council.
After discussion and two public readings of the ordinance amending the sanitation rate, the Pensacola City Council adopted a new monthly sanitation rate and established a sanitation equipment surcharge. These additional revenues enable the full funding of departmental services to continue and will provide for ongoing replacement of sanitation equipment.
Cutting Solid Waste Collection Costs
A six-month pilot program was initiated to identify possible program savings and how the program would be rolled out to its residents. An SCS Engineers rate study conducted at that time suggested possible operational savings, which could enable the City to defer a solid waste rate increase. The good results shown during the pilot program encouraged the City decision-makers to move ahead with once a week collection. The latest statistical data from the City of Clearwater, Florida shows a 21% decrease in solid waste generation and an annual savings of $107,000 in tipping fees. Operational savings for the City achieved the projected $400,000 savings as forecasted in the SCS rate study.
Assessing the Financial Performance of Operating and Proposed Solid Waste Programs
Financial analysis is an increasingly important issue in solid waste decision making. In an era where the mantra of doing more with less” is on the lips of most political decision-makers, it is critical to assess the financial performance of operating and proposed solid waste programs. The three issues discussed in this article provide some guidelines on how these kinds of assessments can be conducted.