CalMet seeks 8-year contract extension

DOWNEY - The Downey City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposal by CalMet - the city's franchised trash hauler - to extend its contract eight years, although doing so could violate Downey Municipal Code. CalMet's contract to haul and dispose of Downey's trash is due to expire in 2016.

In exchange for an 8-year extension, CalMet is proposing to replace approximately 63,000 existing 65-gallon trash receptacles with new 96-gallon trash barrels.

CalMet also would convert its fleet of gasoline-fueled garbage trucks to trucks powered by compressed natural gas. It valued these improvements at $8 million.

According to city officials, however, extending the contract may not be possible under current city code. CalMet's contract was initially signed in 2006 for a 7-year term and was later extended through 2016.

Downey Municipal Code prohibits extending trash contracts for more than 10 years.

"Given the existing restrictions placed by the (Downey Municipal Code) regarding a 10-year maximum term for residential/commercial trash hauling services, currently, the proposal by CalMet to extend the term of the contract by eight years...cannot be considered," Public Works Director John Oskoui wrote in a report to council members.

The report claims Councilman Mario Guerra requested that the proposal "be placed on the agenda for City Council discussion," which Guerra denied.

On Monday, Guerra said he never requested CalMet's proposal be put in front of the City Council. He claimed he only asked city staff for ways residents could receive new trash barrels.

Nevertheless, the proposal will be considered by council members Tuesday.