Cambrians’ garbage bills will rise by 2.2 percent on Feb. 1.
The size of a residential customer’s garbage “waste wheeler” will determine how much the bill will rise, ranging from 38 cents a month for the 32-gallon container to $1.14 a month for the 96-gallon size.
Monthly residential charges are to range from $17.70 to $53.10, up from $17.32 to $51.96. Bills are sent out every two months.
Ratepayers had been given an opportunity to protest the increase. It would have taken 1,952 such protests to block the rate raise; the district had received only 10 by the start of the hearing. A couple of ratepayers also protested during public comment.
Commercial rates also are to increase by 2.2 percent. For one four-yard dumpster, the largest size, the rate would go up $3.17 to $147.53 per month.
Tom Martin, Mission Country’s general manager, said the increases were due to increasing operational costs, including higher costs for operating, fueling and maintaining trucks, and increased labor costs. Mission Country’s most recent rate adjustment was in September 2011.
Director Amanda Rice voted no, citing Mission Country’s pledge to convert to natural-gas-powered vehicles, and a change in the procedures and fees for late payments.
Martin said the firm has replaced 16 of its trucks with those using liquefied natural gas (LNG), and has 40 more to go. He said it would be difficult to use those LNG-powered trucks in Cambria, however, because of the fuel capacity. Adding another tank on top of the truck wouldn’t work, either, he said, because of the low-hanging tree branches throughout the community.
The firm has a contract to collect the community’s trash, recycling and greenwaste until at least 2025.