Collection of green waste will increase next month to once a week from the current once every two weeks under a resolution approved by the El Cerrito City Council Monday night.
The council also approved a boost in rates for collection of garbage, green waste and recycling. A typical household with a blue garbage bin of 32-gallon or 35-gallon capacity will see the city-authorized monthly charge rise by $3.56 to $29.98 from the current $26.42.
This charge — which includes the fees for garbage, green waste and recycling — is included in the bill issued by East Bay Sanitary Co. The company's bill also includes an additional fee levied by West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Board. That fee is expected to rise by 50 cents to $8.12 a month for a typical household, giving most El Cerrito residents a total monthly charge from the company of $38.10, a boost of $4.06, according to a city staff report to the council.
East Bay Sanitary picks up garbage and green waste, while the city picks up recycling, but the fees for all three are included in the East Bay Sanitary bill through a contract with the city.
El Cerrito's biweekly collection of green waste has been an exception to the general practice among California cities, which have weekly collection, the staff report said. The change was prompted in part by the city's new program of collecting food scraps, which residents have been able to add to the green waste bins since July 1.
Weekly green waste collection will begin sometime in January, said Garth Schultz, environmental analyst for the city. The date hasn't been determined yet, and the city will notify residents once it's been set, he said.
The increase in collection fees is based on increased costs for East Bay Sanitary, including replacement of trucks, and increased costs for the city, including the building of the city's new recycling center, the staff report said.
The collection fee charged by East Bay Sanitary for garbage, green waste and recycling is composed of two parts. For a residence with a 32-gallon or 35-gallon garbage bin, the new monthly collection fee of $29.98 consists of $21.61 (up from $18.74) in fees for East Bay Sanitary's collection of garbage and green waste and an additonal $8.37 (up from $7.68) as El Cerrito's "Integrated Waste Management" fee that East Bay Sanitary passes directly to the city. The latter fee goes into the city's Integrated Waste Management fund, which pays for the city's recycling program, including curbside pick-up and the recycling center.