Trash pickup may cost more for SLO residents soon

acornejo@thetribunenews.comJanuary 21, 2013 

A San Luis Garbage truck drops off a load at Cold Canyon Landfill on Highway 227.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

San Luis Obispo residents will likely pay more for garbage pickup starting in February.

The San Luis Obispo City Council will be asked on Tuesday to approve a 3.4 percent rate increase that would go into effect Feb. 1.

The last rate increase was 4.6 percent in November 2011. Prior to that, an increase had not been imposed by the San Luis Garbage Co. since January 2009.

Residential customers who now pay $12.61 a month will pay $13.04 a month with the increase. Those who pay $25.22 a month will pay $26.08 a month.

The rate increase is being sought by the garbage company to cover increased costs for fuel and tires, higher labor and health insurance costs, and to compensate for a loss in revenue due to customer downsizing, according to a city staff report.

The San Luis Garbage Co. anticipates that fuel costs will grow to $577,916 in 2013, up from $420,414 in 2010. Medical insurance costs for its employees are also expected to grow to $573,716, up from $420,414 in 2010.

The City Council will also be asked to allow the garbage company to continue using green waste as an alternative daily cover at Cold Canyon Landfill.

The landfill closed its green waste composting facility in 2011. There are similar composting facilities in Templeton and Santa Maria, but it would cost ratepayers more to haul waste there.

An alternative, closer, solution is being sought, according to a city staff report.

In November, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved the expansion of Cold Canyon Landfill.

The project will be phased in, and it will increase the landfill's "footprint" disposal area to 134 acres, up from 88 acres. That will extend the landfill’s operation for 25 more years.

The San Luis Obispo City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at 990 Palm St.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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