14 Sep 2014
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Council Approves Smaller Garbage Rate Increase than Proposed

Enough residents spoke at Monday’s meeting to convince the council to eliminate the Hazardous Waste Collector contract for a 0.61% less rate increase.

Council Approves Smaller Garbage Rate Increase than Proposed

 

It’s a nearly impossible battle to gain enough written protests from 50 percent + 1 of the population to stop a garbage rate increase. This increase was no different with only 65 written protests submitted to the city, according to Mike Gibbons of the .

But the city council voted to increase garbage rates by only 7.2 percent, 0.61 less than the anticipated 7.81 percent.

Rates will still increase depending on your garbage bin size:

CapacityCurrent Monthly RateProposed Rate Increase at 7.81%
Rate Increase at 7.2%Actual Rate Increases
20 gallons $10.30 81 cents 80 cents $11.10
32 gallons $24.73 $1.93 $1.78 $26.51
64 gallons $49.46 $3.86 $3.56 $53.02
96 gallons $74.18 $4.97* $4.15** $78.33

*not calculated at the 7.81% increase

**based on a subtraction of .61%

The council chose to eliminate the contract with Door-to-Door, a hazardous waste collector that would offer Redwood City residents unlimited use for hazardous waste disposal.

Residents like Laura Aiden spoke at the council meeting, pointing out that a hazardous waste facility exists at Tower Road in San Mateo. They argued that if they did needed to dispose of these materials, they could make the trek.

“This is an unneeded program,” Aiden said.

Other residents were concerned that the approximately $1 additional cost could increase to many more dollars in future years.

“It’s small now, but we’re tired of being nickel and dimed to death,” said Matt Reising, the treasurer of a homeowners’ association in Redwood City.

Councilmembers seriously absorbed these statements and ultimately decided that the additional 0.61 percent increase in this economy, though small now, was unnecessary.

“Your voices do count, and we will put off this rate increase until this service seems more necessary,” Councilmember Barbara Pierce said.

Mayor Alicia Aguirre also promised that the council would look at ways that contractors like Recology can reduce costs.

Currently eight of the 12 agencies that form the South Bay Waste Management Agency (SBWMA), the joint powers agency of which Redwood City is a partner, use Door-to-Door.

Cliff Feldman, the Recycling Programs Manager of SBWMA, said that more than 300 pounds of hazardous waste was collected from 4,000 households last year.

“It’s been a great success in the jurisdictions that use it,” he said.

Pierce noted the environmental merit and convenience of such a program, especially with the that sent three Recology employees to the hospital. However, she agreed with her fellow councilmembers that the contract would be an added payment for a service that residents did not want.

 

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