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El Cerrito Garbage Rates Going Up?

On the City Council agenda Tuesday night are rate increases effective Jan. 1 for the curbside pick-up service for garbage, green waste and recycling. The contractor, East Bay Sanitary, hasn't had an increase in two years, city staff says.

The El Cerrito City Council Tuesday night will consider whether to raise rates for the curbside pick-up of garbage, green waste and recycling materials.

The new fees, if approved, would be effective Jan. 1. The monthly rate for garbage and green waste for a typical home with a 35-gallon garbage container would rise to $23.08 from the current $21.61, while the rate for curbside recycling pick-up would go to $8.75 from the current $8.64, according to a staff report prepared for the meeting. (The report is attached to this article.)

The boost for all three containers would be 5.2 percent.

Those with 20-gallon garbage containers would see their monthly bill for garbage and green waste rise to $16.13 from the current $13.64, while the recycling rate would increase to $8.75 from the current $8.54.

The cumulative increase for all three containers for households with 20-gallon garbage cans would be 12.2 percent.

The council will hold a public hearing on the rates before taking a vote.

The number of customers using 35-gallon garbage containers is 6,260, while those with 20-gallon mini-cans number 3,272, according to the staff report. Only 484 use the large, 64-gallon container, the report says.

The last time rates increased was on Jan. 1, 2011. No rate increases occurred in 2012 since the city was conducting a long-term rate and operations review, which resulted in a revised and extended contract with El Cerrito's long-time waste hauler, East Bay Sanitary, that was approved by the council on Nov. 20.

East Bay Sanitary collects garbage (in blue containers) and green waste (in green cans), while the city uses its own trucks to pick up recycling materials (in gray cans). The fees for all three services are consolidated into a single bill that East Bay Sanitary sends to customers. The rate for the recycling materials is called the Integrated Waste Management Fee.

The new contract with East Bay Sanitary allows for future rate increases to be adjusted up or down depending on whether the company's profit exceeds or falls short of the margin agreed to in the contract.

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Local Mom December 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM
"Hasn't gone up in two years" seems like an inadequate justification on its own. It is a recession, etc. etc.
Evelyn Ruth Cecil Ortman December 17, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Shouldn't those with the mini cans receive a discount for not producing as much garbage? Instead it seems to be a penalty with over double the rate hike of those with the larger cans.
CJ December 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Those of us with mini cans DO have a discount -- yes the percentage increase is higher but we will stay pay much less than those with a 35 gallon can.
Evelyn Ruth Cecil Ortman December 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I think the discount should be more "substantial", "no rate increase" to encourage people to downsize. I am a user of the mini can.
Lorri Bialkin December 17, 2012 at 08:48 PM
with jobs drying up, I haven't had a raise in 5 years...what's their point? They should be greatful it's a secure job what a joke!
Giorgio C. December 17, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Many have lost their job. Folks like me have taken both cuts and also more than 50 furlough days. Be patient. Things will get better but we are not there yet.
anna shane December 17, 2012 at 10:10 PM
there are other expenses that have gone up for them, their own contacts to get rid of the stuff, and gas prices and truck repairs, it's not just giving cost of living increases to their employees and covering their higher cost medical benefits as employees age. You should be glad you have good leadership. In Kensington we gave our not very competent police chief a huge and retroactive pay increase while we tried to drive our own garbage company into bankrupcy by refusing to allow them to stay profitbale. That's now a legal case we've already spent about 60 grand on (our own lawyers) and we'll have to cough up an addition fifty grand for the arbitration and we could easily get a million dollar fine and higher rates than they originally asked for And this is Kensington, only narrow streets, no way to use automatic trucks, so to start with the profit here is smaller. so, be glad you are part of a well-run city and aren't soon to become the poster child of inept government. Just think, at our last Board meeting there were five lawsuits that were discussed behind closed doors, most compliments of our police chief, who seems to incite people to sue us. How many complaints of racial profiling does El Cerrito get? (we have four, and we're one quarter your size) It takes the same amount of time to pick up a mini can as a larger one.
John Stashik December 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM
It costs the same to pick up and dump a mini as a larger can.
Mike C December 18, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Something seems screwy here. The city just completed an operations review designed to reduce costs, and it negotiated a new agreement that the staff report says "provides lower rates" .... and the result is a 12% INCREASE in rates? Over a period when inflation totalled 5%???
Charles Burress (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 04:11 AM
I added a sentence to the article noting that the council will hold a public hearing on the rates before taking a vote.
Ken Longo December 18, 2012 at 07:09 AM
East Bay Sanitary is the worst utility ever! Arrogant, obnoxious, uninterested in customer relations...if there is any other company that is competing, I would vote for them to take over.
Ken Longo December 18, 2012 at 07:11 AM
I forgot, hugely excessive late fees!
John Stashik December 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I think they are a well run company. No 800 call center; you speak with a human being who is in El Cerrito. They pick up on schedule, provide good local jobs, and pay taxes. On the few occasions I have called East Bay Sanitary for extra cans, etc., they have always been helpful and pleasant.
Mike C December 18, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Oops, was looking at the wrong number. East Bay Sanitary rates aren't going up 12%, they're actually going up 18%. On its face, this seems nuts. Maybe there's a rational explanation, but it's not been offered in the staff report. I hope the City Council is asking some hard questions before rubber-stamping this increase.
Giorgio C. December 19, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Two years ago, I received a 3% paycut. Next year, I am supposed to get a 3% "increase. It would be nice if we knew exactly when the recession was over. Then, on the count of 3, everyone gets a raise. Instead, we are now hearing how the feds might stick it to the working class, possibly even making us pay the AMT. Time to brace ourselves for the possibility of round two.

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