Residents and businesses in Cayucos and Cambria are paying more for trash services.
Mission Country Disposal District Manager Jeff Clarin says on September 15, the Cayucos Sanitary District Board of Directors approved a more than 40% increase in trash rates.
The rate increase of 43.3% is based on costs incurred by Mission Country Disposal including new vehicles and replacement containers, increases in insurance premiums, and increased gas and oil costs, among other things. Another 8% of the rate increase is related to the allowed profit margin.
"It sounds like a lot," said Cayucos resident Tilman Dodd. "I think that's the cost of living here, yes."
Restaurants are seeing a big impact.
"So we normally had three days [of] pickups, so we had to go to two days now per week just to minimize the amount that we're paying," said Marco Lucatero, Lunada Garden Bistro co-owner.
The cost of trash pickup three times per week from Lunada Garden Bistro increased by hundreds of dollars when the rate increase was implemented on October 1.
"So it went from being about $400 to $600 a month," Lucatero said.
By dropping the trash pick-up days down to two, they save about $200, keeping the bills the same as before the rate increase was implemented.
"By doing one less day we will probably stay the same as we were doing before," Lucatero said.
But Lucatero adds that the rate increase is happening at an already difficult time. With minimum wage also rising, restaurant owners say it's difficult to pay the number of employees needed to run the operation.
"Yeah, it definitely has impacted us just because minimum wage has gone up every year and by having utilities going up it's just less income," Lucatero said.
In addition to the rate increase that took effect on October 1, on January 1 of 2023 and 2024 rates will be increased based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.