There is an urgent need for regional management of solid waste disposal and recyclables processing. Through the MOU, the County seeks to partner with the County municipalities that are willing to agree to work together toward establishing an integrated and comprehensive regional solid waste and recyclables management system. The MOU further reflects an agreement among the County and those municipalities that, in order to be both effective and enduring, such system must be a collaborative venture based on certain principles and commitments, including the following: mutual pledges of solid waste flow for an extended period of time; consideration of all possible governance structures, with a preference for one that maintains local control and flexibility; common control and/or responsibility of acquired and constructed public assets and liabilities and the setting of tipping and other fees; and a recognition that robust recycling programs are necessary even if the then-current condition of the recycling market imposes additional short-term costs. The MOU also sets forth a schedule that includes specific milestones for the County and the Participating Municipalities to achieve as they work towards establishing a regional solid waste and recyclables management system.
Additionally, as part of the MOU, the County and the Participating Municipalities would build off of a recent study ("Study") conducted by Arcadis, U.S., Inc., Kessler Consulting, Inc., Total Municipal Solutions, L.L.C., and GMAC Consulting, L.L.C. (collectively, the "Arcadis Team"), which evaluated and made recommendations regarding: (i) how to reach a 75% countywide recycling goal; (ii) the impact continued public ownership of Alpha 250 (a vacant parcel of land not currently being used for any solid waste disposal purposes) would have on said recycling goal and countywide solid waste disposal; and (iii) other general solid waste issues that were identified through the Study. Recognizing the benefit of the Study conducted by the Arcadis Team and the need for continued study and analysis, the County and the Participating Municipalities would agree under the MOU to jointly undertake the study and analysis of additional critical solid waste and recycling issues identified by mutual agreement, such as issues related to flow control options and recycling programs. The scope of the additional study and analysis would be developed by a working group that would consider the findings and recommendations of a larger technical group, both of which would be established pursuant to the MOU and would have County and municipal representation.
For administrative convenience, the County will consider approval of the MOU prior to consideration by the municipalities. The effectiveness of the MOU, however, is contingent upon approval thereof by municipalities collectively representing no less than 50% of the County's total population by October 1, 2019. If the MOU is made effective within this timeframe, any municipality that does not timely approve and execute the MOU may nevertheless join as a Participating Municipality under the MOU by approving and executing it thereafter, provided a majority of Participating Municipalities approve the addition of the municipality.
The MOU has been approved as to form by the Office of the County Attorney.