Lindsay proposes increase to trash rate

Lindsay property owners have until July 27 to protest increase to proposed trash rates

LINDSAY – Residents in Lindsay will notice a couple of things with their trash bill. One is they won’t be getting one every month and two is it might be more than before.

In the midst of working on the city budget, the Lindsay City Council and staff hammered out a new deal with their trash collector Mid Valley Disposal, and put the city trash bill on property tax rolls. But the council and staff also initiated an increase in the trash rate.

At the May 25 Lindsay City Council meeting, the council decided to begin a Proposition 218 process—the process that local governments must go through in order to propose a utility rate increase. The only way to defeat the rate increase is if 50% plus one of property owners in the city formally protest before the end of 45-day protesting period.

According to staff documents, if approved the Prop. 218 public hearing on July 27, trash rates have been the same since October 2019. If new rates are approved, they will rise by as much as 20%. The most common residential service—once a week pick up—will rise from $20.26 per month to $25.83 per month. A change of $5.57. The cost of extra cans would also go up for residential services.

Commerce services for trash, recyclables and organics will also rise slightly, but in some instances not at all. A variety of commercial trash services will go up between $5 and $56, but most recyclable and organic services will remain the same.

Lindsay residents and business owners will not see a major difference in their utility rate because they will not receive a bill until December. The city council decided to go the route of their sewer billing strategy by adding it to property tax rolls. In previous city council meetings Tanner said the move was to limit delinquencies and save on city staff time.

Now residents will receive totals for their sewer and trash bills on their property taxes that arrive in December and April. Water rates will still be delivered on a monthly basis, but delinquencies will be put on property tax rolls.

City manager Joe Tanner and Mid Valley Disposal president Joe Kalpakoff said that in order to fund collection services, rates need to rise. Both pointed to Senate Bill 1383 as the reason. Tanner said the bill consolidates environmentally centric legislation aimed toward lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in food waste.

“The big reason [for the increase] is the new requirements, that Mid Valley [Disposal] is going to be under because of SB 1383. So, there is an education component, there is a ton of reporting. The residents are going to get new garbage cans, for example, that all needs to be compliant with SB 1383,” Tanner said.

Kalpakoff could not be reached for comment as of press time. Although, at the May 25 council meeting he noted that some of the new requirements will be onerous. He said there will be added reporting, sorting and monitoring. He added that the company may need to add camera equipment to the trucks, supposedly to monitor what goes in the truck during pick up.

SB 1383 was first passed in September 2016 in a statewide effort to limit GHG from “short-lived climate pollutants.” This includes reducing organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025, and then “rescue for people to east at least 20% of currently disposed of surplus food by 2025.” The state notes that landfills are California’s third largest source of methane. It adds that organic waste like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper and cardboard emits 20% of the state’s methane from landfills.

In terms of implementation SB 1383 states that jurisdictions must establish a food recovery programs and strengthen existing food recovery networks; food donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills; food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain record; and surplus food still safe for people to eat will go to food banks, soup kitchens and other food recovery

Single-family homes and multifamily complexes of less than five units are required to subscribe to and participate in their city’s organics curbside collection service. They are also required to properly sort their organic waste into the correct containers. Multifamily complexes of five units or more are required to either subscribe to and participate in their city’s organics curbside collection, or self-haul organic waste to a specified composting facility, community composting program or other collection activity.

According to Cal Recycle, each California county is responsible for collection organic waste recycling capacity information from cities. They are also responsible for identifying any jurisdiction that does not have enough organic waste recycling capacity, including itself. They must submit an organic waste recycling capacity report to Cal Recycle by August 2022 and August 2024, and then every five years starting in 2029.

Cities on the other hand are responsible for estimating the amount of organic waste in tons. They will also be responsible for identifying the amount of existing organic waste recycling infrastructure capacity, located both in the county and outside of the county.

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