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A solid waste rate increase may be coming for residents in the City of San Luis Obispo

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Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 21, 2022

A new California state law takes effect this year with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at landfills.

The City of San Luis Obispo says this requires statewide mandatory waste reduction changes.

If you live in the City of San Luis Obispo, you may have received a three-page notice in your mailbox alerting you of a possible solid waste rate increase due to this new California law.

“As a result, San Luis Obispo city residents and businesses may see an increase in their garbage bills starting May 1st," said Jordan Lane, Coordinator of Waste and Recycling for the City of SLO.

The proposed increase is a 17.75% increase plus a temporary 8.88% for this year.

“An average residential customer may see an increase of about $10 per month on their bill, whereas a commercial customer may see an increase of about $100 a month," said Lane.

Some residents say this is a necessary service and don’t mind the increase.

“I can honestly say I don’t mind because I have a lot of garden waste," said Rotraut Cannon-Miller.

While for others, like Antonio Ramos, it’s an added cost. He says before receiving the notice he had just heard from his landlord about an increase in rent of about $50.

"I got the trash thing in the mail and I’m like, 'oh man,'" said Ramos.

San Luis Garbage says the rate increase is due to the new California law but also other operation costs including trucks, fuel, and labor costs.

“A lot of this rate increase is really due to the inflation costs over the last few years. You combined that with the cost of operation and aging fleet we had to replace," said District Manager of San Luis Garbage, Jeffery Clarin.

The SLO City Council will hold a public hearing on April 19. Residents who would like to protest the rate increase should submit a written protest to the City Clerk by the hearing date.

“If rates don’t pass, the cost to make those changes still remains so we would have to find different avenues for that revenue," said Lane.

After the public hearing, the San Luis Obispo City Council will decide whether or not the proposal passes.

The city also says they are working on a program to help residents who may need financial assistance for the proposed rate increases.