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SLO County IWMA customers to see rates rise for garbage removal

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Posted at 11:46 AM, Feb 22, 2022

Getting rid of trash will be more expensive for thousands on the Central Coast starting this summer. Residents under the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) will see a rate increase starting in July.

Bill SB 1383 is a statewide effort to help mitigate climate change and reduce organic waste in landfills by 75% by January 1st, 2025. With more regulation from the bill and future enforcement to reach that goal, more funding is needed. A higher fee will be tacked onto the waste haulers, which will then be directed to the bills of customers.

“The fee is driven by SB 1383 and the new state regulations on a wide variety of work that we need to do, including education in the schools, working with businesses, and new requirements associated with organic waste and other recycling and reuse efforts,” said Paavo Ogren, SLO County IWMA Interim Executive Director.

If you pay less than $50 per month for waste removal, you are already subject to a $.30 IWMA fee. If you pay more than $50 per month, your fee is 2% of your monthly bill. That fee will now be a uniform 5.4% for all customers.

For example, residential customers under the IWMA’s jurisdiction on the Central Coast paying $25 a month will see a total fee of $1.35 per month, a $1.05 monthly increase from the current flat rate. Residential IWMA customers with a bill of more than $50 per month and commercial IWMA customers will see a 3.4% increase in their bills.

So, what will these extra fees go toward?

“Education; we have a website. We have a team of recycling specialists that are out on the ground, and they are going door to door visiting our businesses and our multifamily complexes to assist them in this process,” said Kelly York, Program Manager for SLO County IWMA.

Right now, the IWMA, along with the county and their jurisdictions, will focus on education until January 1st, 2024; that’s when enforcement of SB 1383 will begin. At that time, penalties and fines may come into play if customers do not abide by the regulations of SB 1383, which include throwing organic waste, such as food scraps, into the trash and not into the green waste bins.

“it's kind of a team effort to educate the customers and the residents in the commercial businesses of the new laws,” said Jeff Clarin, a district manager for Waste Connections. “And we're really trying to say save the environment here to comply with the law and reduce our greenhouse gases.”

“We're here as an education agency, so we're here to help get the word out before 2024 and to help our jurisdictions so that hopefully, everyone will be aware by this law by 2024, and there won't have to be a penalty or fines at that point,” said York.

The IWMA is set to approve the measure on March 9th during their board meeting.

To help move toward SB 1383’s goal of limiting organic waste in landfills, the SLO County IWMA offers free waste bins, specifically for green waste in your home, so you don’t have to make a trip to your big, green waste bin after every meal. The IWMA is located on Osos St. in San Luis Obispo. For more information on SB 1383, click here.