RIVERSIDE (CNS) – In a 4-1 vote, Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved a set of fee increases for trash and recycling collection in unincorporated communities, where customers can expect to pay 3% to 5% more for services.
According to Department of Environmental Health Director Keith Jones, the four waste haulers under contract with the county — Burrtec Waste, CR&R Inc., Desert Valley Disposal and Waste Management Inc. — sought universal 3% fee hikes to keep pace with inflation and cover higher landfill expenses.
Additionally, the collectors asked the Board of Supervisors to hike fees to process recycling for those residents who receive recycling services.
Adjustments to the recycling charges amounted to less than a dollar per billing cycle, but the increases will be rolled into the composite costs placed in customers’ invoices, making them larger than the baseline 3% hike connected to the consumer price index.
The Burrtec hike will be about $1.40, while CR&R customers can expect a minimum $1.10 increase per month, with Desert Valley Disposal charging roughly $1.75 more, and Waste Management obtaining an additional 80 cents from residential collections.
The board revises refuse retrieval rates almost every year.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries opposed the increases, arguing that financial hardships tied to the economic shutdown amid the coronavirus emergency made it an inopportune time to hike fees on county residents, however small the hikes might be.
Waste collection for the county occurs in defined “franchise areas,” which currently number 11 and encompass communities such as Cabazon, Desert Center, East Hemet, Lakeland Village, Thermal and Thousand Palms. Most of the existing franchise agreements have been in place for just over 20 years.
Inflationary adjustments to fees are based on fluctuations in the CPI for the Los Angeles metropolitan area between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019. The majority of residents pay between $24 and $37 per month for service, for which they’re billed quarterly, according to county officials.
The cost for commercial accounts ranges from $74 to $1,900 per month, and businesses will also pay an additional 3% in fees.
The adjustments take effect in 30 days.