SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): San Diego reached new agreements with the city’s eight private trash haulers that aim to boost recycling rates by imposing new requirements and shrinking some lucrative bonuses the haulers get. City Council members, who approved the new agreements unanimously, said the deals would help San Diego meet the waste reduction goals of its Climate Action Plan. The private haulers, who handle trash and recycling for businesses and people living in apartments and condominiums, are expected to raise rates to cover new equipment and other changes needed to meet the new requirements.
Haulers in other cities across the state have raised rates 20 to 25 percent to cover the costs of complying with the new law. But those are mostly in non-competitive situations where one hauler has a city monopoly. San Diego doesn’t set the rates that private haulers charge their customers, instead allowing prices to be determined by a competitive marketplace where customers can choose among eight different haulers.
Trash customers living in single-family homes don’t pay for their trash and recycling services, which are provided by city crews instead of private haulers because of a 1919 law called “The People’s Ordinance.” Measure B on the Nov. 8 ballot would repeal the ordinance and allow the city to begin charging single-family homes for trash collection after a consultant determines how much customers should pay. Private haulers handle about 70 percent of trash and recycling produced in San Diego, while city crews handle the other 30 percent.
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