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For Immediate Release
February 13, 2013

Mike Gibbons
Public Works Superintendent

City to Consider Small Increase in Solid Waste (Garbage/Recycling) Collection Rates

Redwood City, CA - The City Council of Redwood City will be considering a 3% increase in the residential and commercial rates for garbage and recycling collection within Redwood City. For the majority of Redwood City households (most of which have a 32-gallon cart), this would be an additional 79¢ per month/per cart (for those with 20-gallon carts the proposed increase is 33¢ per month/per cart). A 3.25% increase is proposed for "unscheduled" other services.

The City Council will be considering this proposed rate increase at a public hearing on February 25, 2013. The City Council meeting starts at 7 pm, and takes place at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road. If the proposed rates are approved by the City Council the rate increase would be effective the next day, February 26, 2013.

In general, the proposed rate increase is a result of a number of factors, including higher disposal and processing costs (due to increases in tonnage and tipping fees), higher service levels due to an increased number of residential customers, Recology's wage and benefit cost increases resulting from its collective bargaining agreements, fuel rate increases, and general operating cost increases (more details on the cost factors are online).

The rates charged to customers must reflect Recology's actual cost of providing service, and take into account the contractually-agreed upon revenues - in other words, Recology is guaranteed a specified amount of revenue, which was negotiated as part of the franchise agreement. This type of arrangement is typical in the garbage/recycling collection industry. Notices of the proposed increase have been sent to all garbage/recycling service customers in Redwood City. Customers may protest the proposed rate increase at the public hearing, or may do so by writing to the City prior to the hearing.

Solid waste collection rates are adopted annually by the City of Redwood City. The proposed new rates are based on a financial projection of operating costs and revenues for Recology San Mateo County for calendar year 2013. The costs owed to Recology for collection services of solid waste, recycling, and organics materials in 2013 have been reviewed by City staff and the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) staff, and have been approved by the SBWMA Board of Directors. In addition, operating costs include the cost for disposal and processing collected materials at the Shoreway Environmental Center and franchise fees paid to the City of Redwood City. The SBWMA ( is the joint powers authority representing the various cities and agencies that contract with Recology.

Other member cities in the SBWMA are also considering rate increases. Due to Redwood City's ongoing deliberate, conservative fiscal management, we've been able to keep the proposed increase to a reasonably low level, and avoid the more significant increases being proposed by some cities.

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