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Redwood City approves increase in the cost of solid waste collection starting in 2023

Redwood City approves increase in the cost of solid waste collection starting in 2023
Photo: Gerardo Herrera P360P

After five years of no increase in the costs of solid waste collection services, carried out by Recology San Mateo County, the Redwood City City Council approved with six votes in favor a 5.0 percent increase in the item, while disposal and processing costs would increase by 4.1 percent, which will be effective as of January 1, 2023 .

Thus, the council members approved a $5.00 increase to regular residential solid waste collection fees for 20-gallon containers; and a $4.00 increase to regular residential solid waste collection rates for 32-gallon containers.

Also, a $3.00 increase to regular residential solid waste collection fees for 64-gallon containers; and an increase of 4,184 percent for unscheduled solid waste services. 

Currently, Redwood City residents pay for a 20-gallon container $18.87 per month, with the increase they will have to pay starting in January 2023, $23.87; while those who pay $34.86 a month for a 32-gallon container will now pay $38.86.

In the case of those who make a payment of $64.20 per month for a 64-gallon container, they will pay $67.20; while those who occupy a 96-gallon container and pay $95.31 per month will not have an increase.

The proposed solid waste rates were calculated to recover the cost of providing solid waste services to each class of commercial and residential customer. These services are provided by Recology San Mateo County under contract with the City. 

The proposed fee increases are designed to ensure that the revenue collected from solid waste fees is sufficient to cover Recology's full costs of providing solid waste services.

The councilors highlighted that, after 5 years without increases, the new prices are necessary to proportionally allocate the increase in collection costs, including, among others, disposal and processing fees, labor, fuel and energy, and other associated operation and maintenance.

It should be noted that even with the proposed increases, rates for Redwood City customers will still be below the San Mateo County average. For residential customers with 20-, 32- or 64-gallon cars -- about 98 percent of Redwood City customers -- the increase amounts to an additional $5, $4 or $3 a month, respectively.

Unscheduled services include miscellaneous services that go beyond routine trash pickup, such as backyard trash pickup, key service, or extra cars. 

The proposed 4.184 percent rate increase for unscheduled solid waste services is based on the one-year change in the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. 

The proposed rates for unscheduled services are calculated to recover Recology's increased collection costs associated with providing unscheduled solid waste services.

Pursuant to the City's Franchise Agreement with Recology, the City does not pay for solid waste and recyclable collection services from the General Fund. Taxpayers pay the cost of these services, a consistent practice for all SBWMA member agencies.

The increase was voted on by six members of the City Council, led by Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale, followed by Deputy Mayor Diana Reddy, and Councilmembers Diane Howard, Alicia Aguirre, Jeff Gee and Elmer Martinez. Councilwoman Lissette Espinoza-Garnica was absent during the session. However, for the proposal to pass only 5 of 7 votes were needed.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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