Bekke Hess is among those that don’t get why Manteca is slapping larger rate increases on those that generate less garbage.
In an email to the City Council, she notes people who generate a lot more garbage often don’t recycle as efficiently because they have larger Toters are taking a softer hit in the proposed municipal rate hikes.
As proposed, 35 gallon service will cost $130.86 more a year by 2021 as opposed to $85.44 more a year for 65-gallon service and $50.52 more for 95-gallon service.
She pointed to residents who don’t put out blue Toters electing to toss recycling items into garbage. She also notes that apartments and many senior living facilities have residents simply throw newspapers, plastic bottles and cans into the garbage.
Part of the city plan is to move toward mandatory apartment recycling in the coming years.
As for the garbage rate charges — unlike in 2004 when the current rates were set — the proposed rates do not have built-in incentives to encourage residential recycling.
Back then the city’s working theory was if you give people the small Toter option allowing them to save almost $6 a month by monitoring their garbage tossing closely so they can avoid needing the 65-gallon can that it would help improve Manteca’s bottom line when it comes to recycling.
Stepped up cost recovery and the rules for service fees as mandated by voter approved Proposition 218 is driving garbage rate this time around.
The mantra is one group of people can’t subsidize another group. The consultant and staff made the case that due to issues with the smaller Toters and the fact tipping fees to bury garbage only constitute 20 percent of the city’s cost, that the lower rates set purposely in 2004 for 35-gallon Toters to encourage recycling meant those paying for larger Toters were subsiding those with the smallest service.
But if that is the case then aren’t those who generate two or more Toters every two weeks of green waste being subsidized by those that set out one Toter for green waste collection?. Manteca doesn’t charge per se for recycling and green waste collection. That said if one ratepayer consistently generates three times the yard waste as someone else, aren’t they being subsidized?
The point is that it is a policy decision on how you interpret Proposition 218 guidelines. If it isn’t, then those who generate significantly more yard waste and aren’t being charged for the difference regardless of how small it may be in actual dollars and cents are essentially being subsidized by other ratepayers.
On the flip side, if the council holds to the full cost recovery mantra, then they’ll have to hold fast against any possible push back from the development community for charging $420 to pay to start city garbage service for new homes.
Hess, by the way, only generates two small bags of garbage a week like many other single people that have the 35-gallon service.
Martin Harris believes the Manteca City Council is missing the boat by not asking South San Joaquin Irrigation District to serve on the municipal water conservation panel.
Harris — who is part of the family-owned Tuff Boy trailer operation as well as being an almond grower — noted in a letter to the council that “for some time now, SSJID has demonstrated its commitment to develop innovative approaches to water conservation and has been nationally recognized for its efforts.” He believes the city would be wise to have SSJID share its knowledge and experience in dealing with water-related issues “for the benefit of our entire community.”
And even through the council dictates that all members of the committee must be Manteca city residents with a city mailing address, that didn’t stop them from having a rural farmer that lives outside the city — Mary Hildebrand — as one of the original committee appointees.
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