Garbage collection rates in San Francisco will jump 14 percent in July, a city board decided Monday.
The Refuse Rate Board — which includes the city administrator, city controller and general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission — unanimously approved Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru’s recommended increase.
With the 14 percent increase, the cost of keeping three 32-gallon bins to collect garbage, recycling and compost will go from $35 to $40 a month for the average single-family home. That will still leave San Francisco’s charges below those in Oakland, where the garbage hauler Waste Management will also raise rates July 1, to $45 a month for three 32-gallon bins.
San Francisco’s rates will climb an additional 5 percent in 2019 and another 1 percent in 2021. Nuru said the increases reflect the rising cost of collecting and processing waste in a booming city. He also noted that San Francisco has had no major increases since 2013, when monthly fees went from $28 to $34 for three 32-gallon bins.
The city’s trash and recycling hauler, Recology, asked for a slightly higher jump of 16 percent in October, citing costs from a new five-year labor contract, landfill fees and routes that had to be redesigned to accommodate a surge in recyclable material. That surge is due in part to residents’ increasing use of online delivery services.
“As we move forward, Recology’s focus remains on providing the best customer service possible while we continue to make recycling and composting easy and convenient, furthering San Francisco’s landfill diversion goals,” Recology spokesman Robert Reed said.
Thirteen people wrote appeals to the rate board to complain about the increase after Nuru made his recommendation in May. “There is no acknowledgment that seniors are on a fixed income, consume less, generate less, recycle and compost more, and are not contributing to black bin waste and landfills with disposable diapers,” wrote Lou Ann Bassan, who said she is a senior citizen on a fixed income.
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