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Solid Waste Cost of Service and Rate Design Study

  • Department:Commissions and Committees, City Manager's Office, Public Works
  • Category:Request For Proposal
  • RFP Number:PW-RFP-Env-SW
  • Start Date:March 03, 2017 5:36 p.m.
  • Close Date:March 28, 2017 4:00 p.m.

City of Davis
Request for Proposals
Solid Waste Cost of Service & Rate Design Study

Proposal Submittal Deadline:  4:00 p.m. PDT on March 28, 2017

Contact Person:
Richard Tsai
Environmental Resources Manager
Public Works Department
1717 Fifth Street
Davis, CA 95616

A. Submittal Instructions

Due Date: Proposals are due no later than 4:00PM (pacific time), March 28, 2017

Questions may be submitted by email to Richard Tsai at until March 21, 2017. Questions submitted after this date will not be answered.  Responses to questions will be published and distributed to applicants

Proposal Contents:     




Cover letter

Transmittal and declaration of conflict(s) of interest

1 sheet maximum


Project team and organization chart

2 sheets maximum


Reference Projects

1 sheet maximum per reference


Scope of services

3 sheets maximum


Project schedule

1 sheet maximum (11X17 allowed)



2 sheets each maximum




Separate Envelope

Fee estimates and rate schedules

Length as necessary, only one hard copy

Electronic file

Summarized comments on standard agreement referenced by page number and section

Submit comments only

 A sheet is a single piece of paper – it may be printed on both sides. Sheets shall be 8.5 x 11, with an exception for the schedule and fee estimate. Minimum font size is 11 point.

Mail or Deliver to:  

City of Davis, City Clerk’s Office
23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 1
Davis, California 95616
Subject: Solid Waste Rate Study RFP submittal

No. of Copies:  Submit 1 electronic copy (1 USB drive) plus 3 original hard copies.

Pre Proposal Meeting: There will be no pre-proposal meeting

Cover Letter:  Teams/firms submitting proposals in response to this RFP must disclose any actual, apparent, direct or indirect, or potential conflicts of interest that may exist with respect to the firm, management, or employees of the firm or any actual, apparent, direct or indirect, or potential conflicts of interest that may exist with respect to the firm, management, or employees of the firm or other persons relative to the services to be awarded pursuant to this RFP. If a team/firm has no conflicts of interest, a statement to that effect shall be included in the cover letter.


A1. Project Team and Organization Chart: The team members should be experienced with: solid waste rate studies, rate modeling, familiarity with solid waste rates in other communities in California that provide organic services, solid waste rate structure and design analysis, capital project and financial planning, collaborative experience with advisory commissions and community involvement processes, Prop. 218 Notice requirements, and outreach approaches and materials that enhance customer understanding of rate policy choices.

Provide an organization chart, and for each key team member, provide the following:

  • Qualifications and their experience on similar studies
  • Role and responsibilities for this study
  • Home office location
  • Estimate of time allocation to the study (averaged over the duration of the project)

If sub-consultants will be used, provide names, qualifications, experience, location, and role of each sub-consultant

A2. Reference Projects:  Provide references for studies that demonstrate proposer’s qualifications and experience for performing the requested services.  Provide names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for at least three previous clients who have received similar services from the team/firm (no more than five). Also provide the approximate consultant fee for each project (include any basis for comparison such as components included in study, magnitude of the solid waste fund, and year the study was completed). The reference projects should be linked to the staff shown in Section 1.

Reference projects should:

  • Demonstrate firm’s understanding of the components required to develop cost of service and rates.
  • Demonstrate the firm’s past experience with evaluating many rate structure options (and what type they were) for a client and then selecting one that passed the Prop 218 process and is being, or has been, implemented.
  • Demonstrate firm’s capability to communicate effectively, solve problems, and resolve conflicts as necessary to affect a beneficial team oriented review and study.
  • Specifically include information that demonstrates firm’s experience in working with community advisory commissions.

For referenced studies, include description of any additional services provided in support of developing rates.

A3. Scope Of Services: This section shall present a specific Scope of Services for this Study as described in the Study Description of this RFP.

This section shall present the proposed Study process and the consultant's specific tasks for performing the work. This section should convey the consultant's understanding of the Study, and demonstrate specialty experience, management, and other features that lead to successful achievement of Study goals.

Include a list of deliverables. Deliverables should match milestones shown in the proposed schedule

A4. Project Schedule: This section shall provide a schedule (Gantt chart) for completion of the Study.

A5. Resumes (Optional): Provide brief resumes for project team members.


B1. Fee Estimate and Rate Schedule (provided in a separate, sealed envelope):  Compensation will be on a time and expense basis, with a not-to-exceed total cost limit. Allowable markups will be 10% on sub-consultants and other direct costs.

In a separate envelope provide:

  • Estimated fee by task (tasks should match scope of services section)
  • Hourly billing rate schedule for all proposed staff
  • Types and estimated amount of expenses to be billed to the project
  • Fees by subconsultant, by task

Only one hard copy is required. No sheet limit. May be on 11x17 paper.


C1. Comments on Standard Agreement:  City’s Standard Agreement is attached to this RFP as Attachment A.

The consultant shall provide a list of any comments, objections, and recommended changes to the standard agreement as a separate electronic document. The due date of the comments is the same as the proposal. The proposer must provide comments in a Word document, with each comment referenced by page number and section.

The City reserves the right to reject the proposer’s recommended changes.

B. Objectives of the Study

Description of the City of Davis Solid Waste Collection System and Revenue Requirements

The City of Davis has been contracting solid waste services through a franchise waste agreement with a local private hauler, Davis Waste Removal, since 1976.  DWR collects trash, recyclables, yard materials, food scraps and performs street sweeping within the city limits. In July 2016, the City began collecting food scraps as part of an enhanced organics program. The previous system of collecting yard material loose in the street changed to a hybrid system of yard material piles and organics carts. Now all residents and businesses in Davis have access to food scrap recycling service through Davis Waste Removal. This organics program will help the City achieve its 75% waste diversion goal and the statewide goal of recycling or composting 75% of organic waste by 2020.

The City collects solid waste revenue from customers which includes both DWR direct costs (90%) and City costs to administer the service (10%).  City costs include Finance department internal service charges (billing), personnel costs, outreach costs, and other program costs. 

The last solid waste rate study for Davis was conducted in 2013.  With the exception of annual consumer price index increases, customer rates have remained the same since 2013.  Since then, City has negotiated a new contract with DWR, modified the organics collection program, and experienced multiple tipping fee increases imposed by the local landfill.  This rate study is necessary to provide an updated rate structure for the City and to recover service costs.

Study Description

This Study, as a minimum, will consist of:

  • Prepare a cost of service analysis, including revenue requirements.
  • Develop and analyze appropriate rate structures (up to 4 alternatives that includes variable garbage rate, variable organics rate, special rate, and opt-out rate).
  • Estimate the City’s cost to provide the billing service for each rate structure.
  • Determine the rates necessary to meet the City’s revenue requirements.
  • Develop appropriate customer service fees for each user class.
  • Develop an Electronic Rate Model that can be used by the City in future rate setting.
  • Participate in presentations and meetings.

The analysis period shall be ten years. At the conclusion of the Study, The City anticipates proceeding with the Prop. 218 process to adopt a 5-year rate schedule (2017 through 2022).

The proposal may recommend additional components that would benefit the City. If additional components are recommended, please provide a detailed description of the value to the City.

Scope of Work

This Study, as a minimum, will include:

  • Examine revenue requirements and contractual obligations
  • Compare single family vs. multifamily vs commercial rate structure
  • Examine pay-as-you-throw feasibility for garbage and organics collection and provision for opt-out
  • Examine disposal costs of materials sent to Yolo County Central Landfill
  • Examine the feasibility and cost of a bi-weekly collection of garbage and/or recycling
  • Consider cost implications of different street sweeping schedules, including (but not limited to) weekly street sweeping year-round, weekly street sweeping during the fall, bi-weekly street sweeping, additional seasonal (and/or after storm) street sweeping, etc.
  • Consider the cost implications of a street sweeping schedule that occurs the day after yard waste pile pick-up.
  • Review alternative yard material pile collection schedules (taking into account potential impact to customers), including (but not limited to), elimination of yard material pile collection service, on-demand pile pick-up, monthly pile pick-up, additional seasonal pick-up, emergency after storm pick-up and bi-weekly pile pick-up.
  • Review the Environmental Mitigation fee in the current franchise agreement

Recommended Minimum Scope of Services

A proposed minimum Scope of Services is listed below:

  • Kick-off Meeting.  Meet with City staff to identify information needed for review and to layout schedule. Provide follow-up written minutes.
  • Data Collection.  Provide a comprehensive list of data requirements for the City staff to provide that will support the solid waste rate study.
  • Progress Meetings. Conduct bi-weekly project meetings to review progress with City staff and coordinate continuing project activities. Take and distribute minutes for meetings.
  • Cost of Service Analysis. Perform a cost of service analysis to equitably allocate the previously developed revenue requirement to the various customer classes of service (e.g., residential, multi-family, commercial, etc.) using a generally accepted methodology.
  • Rate Design Analysis. Design a rate model including:
      1. All necessary revenues.
      2. Debt service options & costs.
      3. A minimum of 4 rate structure options with an evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Advisory Commissions Presentations. Present at two evening meetings to update the City’s Utility Rate Advisory Commission.
  • Draft Report. Submit an electronic draft report for review by staff and the Utility Rate Advisory Commission.
  • Report shall be comprehensive in nature and document all of the activities undertaken as a part of the project, along with all findings, conclusions and recommendations, including a recommended rate structure. Allow a three-week review period.
  • Review Meeting.  Participate in a review meeting with staff and the Utility Rate Advisory Commission to address the review comments.
  • Final Report. Submit one electronic copy and 8 hard copies of the final report to City in three weeks of receiving the comments.
  • Presentation. Conduct one presentation of final findings to City Management.
  • Public Outreach. Participate in two evening public outreach meetings to present the rate study to interested parties. Assist City staff in preparing and presenting materials. Meeting leadership, coordination, and facilitation will be provided by City.
  • Proposition 218 Assistance. Assist City with the “Prop 218” process.

C. Evaluation and Selection

Consultant Interviews: At this time, it is anticipated that the City will not conduct consultant interviews. The City reserves the right to conduct interviews if needed

Selection Process: A final recommendation will be made by the selection panel, based on evaluation of the provided materials and references contacted

Right to Reject all Proposals: The City reserves the right to reject all proposals.

Review Committee: Proposals, and the interview, if necessary, will be evaluated by a selection panel comprised of City staff.

Basis for Evaluation: The scoring system that will be used to evaluate submittals is shown in Table 1. This evaluation will be based on the information submitted within your proposal and references. Evaluation will also be based upon interviews if they are conducted.

Table 1: Evaluation Criteria


Points Possible 

Project team experience and qualifications


Methodology and understanding of scope of services




Davis Local Provider Preference


Total points



Schedule: Table 2 shows the anticipated schedule for consultant selection, contracting, and project delivery.  This schedule may be adjusted at any time.

The City anticipates negotiating a final scope of services and reasonable fee with the chosen team. This process will include a presentation of the proposed scope of services and solicitation of input from the City’s Utility Rate Advisory Commission (URAC).

Table 2: Anticipated Schedule



March 21, 2017

Last date to submit questions and request electronic copy of Standard Agreement

March 28, 2017

Proposals due

April 2017

Consultant selection

April 2017

Negotiate final scope of services and fee

April 2017

City Council approves selection and authorizes City Manager to execute contract

May-June 2017

Rate Study analysis

July 2017

Draft Report (including presentation to Utility Rate Advisory Commission)

August 2017

Final Report

September-October 2017

Prop 218 staff support and community meetings

December 2017

New solid waste rates


A full version of the Request for Proposals, including Attachment A: The City of Davis Standard Agreement for Professional Services, is available for download as a PDF: Davis Solid Waste Rate Study Request for Proposals

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