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Los Osos residents could face 25% increase on trash bill

Posted at 7:17 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 22:49:12-05

Over the past year, paying your trash bill has become more expensive in San Luis Obispo County.

Los Osos residents are next, facing about a 25% increase to their monthly statement.

"An increase of 25% is too much. We can absorb say a 10%, 5% is easy. 10% is getting difficult,” said Chuck Hutchins, Los Osos resident.

"I think the 25% increase on our trash bill would really hurt a lot of locals. We probably have 70% of people who are fixed income in this town,” said Dan Robertson, Los Osos resident.

San Luis Garbage Company's district manager says after China stopped taking America's recycling, it created challenges for garbage companies, resulting in increased rates.

"Anywhere from about 30 to 50% of the rate increase proposal is just to pay the processor to process that material, pulling out the bad stuff and throwing it away and they're putting the good stuff back to wherever it can be used and wherever we can find people to take it,” said Jeff Smith, San Luis Garbage Company.

Equipment and labor costs are the other reasons why a 25% rise in residents' trash bills could be coming to Los Osos, according to Smith.

He believes the price change for residents won't be as bad as it seems.

"Although the percentage sounds pretty high, the dollar amount isn't as much as it is, it's more like a cup of coffee,” said Smith.

Under Proposition 218, people in Los Osos who are against the rate increase can submit a written protest.

If there are enough valid protests, the county won't adjust the rates.

A decision will be made during a Board of Supervisors public hearing on December 17.