Dec 6 2017

Large Increase in Garbage Rates Receives Council First Reading Approval

On December 4, 2017, the City Council listened to long and detailed staff and consultant explanations of the proposed ten-year contract with Republic Sanitary Services, the sole bidder to provide solid waste services for Piedmont.  Republic is Piedmont’s current provider.  The Council asked  a few questions at the meeting, having gone into greater detail at the off-camera “Study Session” the prior week.

Approximately 3% of service provided in Piedmont is subsidized by the ratepayers to cover the total cost for school and City waste disposal requirements. It was explained that this practice is one of the unique features of Piedmont’s service contract. Most cities and schools pay for their own waste collection services separate from ratepayer fees.

The Council approved the first reading in the two part ordinance approval process. As suggested by Mayor Bob McBain, the second reading will not take place until the Council meeting of January 16, 2017 to allow further input from residents.

Council member Tim Rood requested that the over 5% Piedmont franchise fee, be reduced to approximately 2%, allowing the residential rates to be slightly lower.  Prior to the second reading and adoption, staff will come back to the Council in January with a chart of the impacts to the City revenue and ratepayers.

The proposed rates for a curbside 35 gallon cart, which includes unlimited recycling carts, will go from $55.11 per month to $84.60 per month.  The rate for premises/backyard 35 gallon cart service, plus unlimited recycling carts, will go from $61.08 per month to $126.93 per month.

Under the proposed plan those wishing to slightly reduce the charges, can opt for a 20 gallon cart rather than a 35 gallon cart.  There is also an option to prepay the full year charge in order to reduce the fee by 8%, gaining essentially a free month of service.

Policy for those physically limited 

A policy allowing those who are physically unable to place their carts at curbside was approved by the Council.  On an annual basis, those residents with specific limitations may attempt to qualify for receiving on premises or backyard service for the same rate as those placing their carts at the curb. Those residents will file an application with the City signed by their doctor or present their handicapped vehicle placard to gain qualification to receive on-premises, backyard pick up, at the curbside rates.

Privacy of the physically limited residents’ information was not discussed.

There will be no reduced rates for seniors, unless within their household no one, including themselves, is able to place carts at the curb.

Republic Services representative informed the Council that there are 11 employees picking up waste in Piedmont 5 days a week.  The typical period of their pick up runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

As in many Bay Area neighborhoods, the hilly, curvy, narrow streets in Piedmont make service more difficult and expensive than flat, broad streets where commercial structures and residences are conveniently spaced.

Comments may be sent to the City Council as follows:

Robert McBain, Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Betsy Smegal Andersen Unexpired Term Exp. 11/18

Read prior PCA article with links to the Staff Reports and extensive details on the contract and points of consideration. HERE

Leave a Comment