Waste rates set to increase in 2018

For the first time in six years, solid waste rates in Menlo Park soon will be going up.

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved adjusting the rates. Single-family households face the biggest percentage increases.

Although Recology San Mateo County provides garbage cans ranging in size from 20 to 96 gallons, 78 percent of single-family homes use the 20- and 32-gallon containers because they’ve already cut back on garbage sent to the landfill. Through its Community Zero Waste Plan, which also was approved Tuesday, Menlo Park is attempting to reduce the amount of trash sent to the landfill each day from 5 pounds per person in 2015 to 3.1 pounds in 2035.

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Rates for customers with 20-pound containers will jump 63 percent by 2020, from $13.99 per month to $22.81; and those with 32-pound containers will rise by 33 percent from $23.40 to $31.14.

According to a staff report, those increases are supposed to cover an estimated $475,000 the city owes Recology over the past five years. The increases also put the rates more in line with those in other Peninsula cities, which currently average $23.95 a month for 20-gallon containers and $33.95 for 32-gallon containers.

“Essentially, what we’re doing is smoothing the burden of the cost that has been stacked on commercial more than residential,” Councilman Rich Cline said at the meeting.

Roughly 82 percent of multifamily and commercial customers will see either no rate hike or modest increases of up to 5 percent.

Noting that a state bill (AB 1826) may make commercial composting mandatory by 2020 at all multifamily and commercial properties, Councilwoman Catherine Carlton asked that the city not wait until then. She suggested the item …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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