Habitat for Humanity: ReStore
Widening Debate: Questions for Caltrans, SMCTA, and City Council

Recology Wants More Money—Again

By Lionel Emde
Riptide Correspondent
Pacifica City Council's meeting September 24 featured consideration of the fourth rate increase since Recology bought the failed Coastside Scavenger in 2010. Since no council member has ever voted against any of the previous rate increases, we expected lots of handwringing from election-year-fearing politicians, but no ratepayer-protective action. The council voted 5-0 to hear the matter November 26.
Pacifica's garbage collection rates, already the highest in two counties (San Mateo and San Francisco) will rise by 1.89 percent next January if the increase is approved by the council. Although Recology had initially requested a 1.42 percent increase in rates, the consultant hired to review the rate application provided justification to raise rates by 1.89 percent. Ratepayers are paying the consultant (HF&H Consultants, LLC) $39,446 for the privilege of recommending rates even higher than Recology's initial request.
Rates for a 20-gallon can will rise from $22.95 to $23.38 per month, and a 32-gallon can goes from $35.95 to $36.66 per month.
One interesting section of the rate application review disallowed the request for $14,954, which the consultant noted was for "...charitable or political donations (that) are disallowed as part of the total annual cost of operations... ."
Unanswered by the consultant's review is the question of why mid-coast residents (Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada) pay half of what Pacificans pay for garbage collection and very similar services. That area is also serviced by Recology of the Coast, using trucks run from the same headquarters on Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica.
Pacifica has had the highest solid waste collection rates in the county for years, as was initially revealed by a 2006 audit and rate comparison done by the City of Pacifica. The reason for that is another unanswered question.


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I don't understand why they are proposing raising the rates when they publish that we are recycling more, and saving more of their money, but they still pass on higher fees to customers. Sounds a little lopsided to me.

Still don't understand WHY we pay more than everyone else? I just don't get it.

"Post was done on 9/22/2012 under Candidates Questionnaire."

Hello, Chris Porter:

If you were to go there and then copy the URL bar and post it here, we would all be able to see what you said.

Post was done on 9/22/2012 under Candidates Questionnaire.

I went back two weeks on "Fix Pacifica" and can't find your reply.

Let us know when you get it posted, can't wait.

And have a beautiful Monday morning.

www.pacifica.blogspot.com fails to get me your post.

"Hi all. Read my post in www.pacifica.blogspot.com for the answer to all of the above and have a great sunny Pacifica day. Hope it is like this for the Fog Fest next week."

Chris, where is it? Can you provide a link to it? I most definitely want to read it.
Thanks, and have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Coming at this time and affecting most residents of Pacifica, this particular proposed rate increase is obviously a great question to put to each of the City Council candidates. You don't want their general, vague philosophy about such things. You do want to know how they stand on the specifics of this one--a chance to pin down slippery candidates and a good way to learn if they know anything at all about the specifics of such issues. Of course, their answers then need to be heavily publicized to hold the "good guys" to what they say and to expose the "bad guys."

Hi all. Read my post in www.pacifica.blogspot.com for the answer to all of the above and have a great sunny Pacifica day. Hope it is like this for the Fog Fest next week.

Four rate increases in two years? Garbage is a gold mine!

Spin, baby, spin!

spin doctors at work

Who is paying Chris Porter to attend the Chamber of Commerce meetings? Certainly hope it's not Recology using the ratepayers' money.

Hey, we've got only 16 percent more to go to have a 20-gallon can cost what a 32-gallon can used to cost!

That's exciting news.

How about someone elected to the City Council who cares about ratepayers? How about two or three of these types of people? How about putting the contract out to bid in 2016 AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN 2010?

Chris, all due respect, but you are fairly belligerent for someone whose job was protected by an act of council. Perhaps you could say "thank you" to the residents of Pacifica for your job by not raising our rates for once.

The majority of customers (more than 50 percent) are now using 20-gallon carts instead of 30-gallon cans due to all the new programs that have been provided, and now will be paying $23.38 a month, which is 16 percent LESS than they were paying in 2007! Our diversion number is now in the high 60th percentile, so "thank you" to our customers for using the programs, reducing your costs, and making Pacifica more sustainable.

Wow, 20-plus percent in four years. Thanks, Lionel and Pacifica Index!

Recology Rate Increase History for Pacifica

Aug. 2010 - Mar. 2011

Mar. 2011 - Dec. 2011

Jan. 2012 - Dec. 2012

Jan. 2013 - Dec. 2013
1.89% (proposed)

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