Manteca’s 35-gallon Toter for garbage is headed for 8-track tape status.
Those that have them will be able to continue to use them but in the coming months the time will come when no one will be able to get a new one.
The “loss” of the 35-gallon cans and the fact the thousands of Manteca residents that use them will be hit the hardest with a pending rate hike — a $10.89 a month jump by 2021 — is the only part of the first proposed city garage rate hike in 14 years that is drawing any static from ratepayers.
If the City Council at their Dec. 6 meeting adopts the staff recommended rate changes, the current $19.78 monthly charge for the 35-gallon service will be ratcheted up on an annual basis starting March of 2017 when it goes to $23.74 until it reaches $30.67 in $20.21.
The $10.89 a month jump over five years is $3.77 larger than for the increase for 65-gallon service and $6.68 larger than the increase for the 95-gallon service. When the rate hike is fully implemented, 65 gallons will go from $25.49 to $32.61 and 95 gallon from $30.02 to $34.33.
The city is preparing ordinances that will end the issuance of new 35-gallon Toters. They will be phased out by attrition when those that currently have them move from their present address or they opt to switch to a bigger Toter for garbage.
Ann King, a Del Webb resident, was critical of what she said is a lopsided rate hike slapped on 35-gallon customers. She said it would be tough for people like herself that are on a fixed income to handle the rate hike that ultimately will jump the cost of her garbage service by more than $120 a year.
She noted during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that often neighbors in Del Webb — an age-restricted community in North Manteca — will share a garbage can electing only to put one out on collection day given they generate little garbage.
“(A lot of weeks) I have only one small bag of garbage,” King said.
Several council members said they were contacted by others not pleased with the 35-gallon rate hikes.
Councilman Vince Hernandez asked the staff to see if there was ways to shave the rate hike given that for some on limited income the ultimate addition of $10.89 a month could mean they’d have to forgo eating one or more lunches and/or dinners each month.
Manteca will retain senior low-income rates for those households with someone 60 or older that qualify based on overall income using federal poverty guidelines. Currently there are 270 people that have qualified for the rate that is now $12.72 for a 35-gallon Toter or $7.06 less than the full price others pay for the service. The rate will go to $19.72 by 2021 and will be $10.95 less than the standard 35-gallon rate at that point.
Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted the city’s current rate structure undercharges the smaller Toters for their proportionate share of costs. While they contain less garbage, Houghton pointed out tipping fees for truck loaded with refuse at the landfill accounts for around 20 percent of all costs of operating solid waste.
In many instances customers trying to avoid paying for larger Toter service over jam them. When the refuse truck driver lifts Toters jammed tightly with garbage, the automated arm has issues shaking the trash out. It isn’t uncommon for the 35 gallon Toter to end up being dumped into the back of the refuse truck in such cases. That requires the driver to get out and climb into the back to retrieve the container. Not only does that slow down the collection of garbage but it significantly increases the risk of the driver being injured.
Houghton also said the city is constantly having to deal with a number of people who have the small containers that will contaminate recyclables and green waste they set out for collection when they run out of space in the brown Toter. That can render the load of recyclables or green waste unacceptable for tipping at recycling centers or composing firms forcing Manteca to pay to have the entire truckload of collected items to be buried in a landfill instead of recycled.
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