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$5.08 garbage rate hikes will include additional ‘perks’

By next month, the City of Lathrop could have a five-year extension in place for its refuse collection and disposal that will increase an average of $5.08 a month for a typical household. 

And while that means that Lathrop ratepayers will be paying more every month to throw out their trash – the proposed contract extension includes annual rate hikes in step with the consumer price index as well as a recycling fee to offset the global impact of China’s tightening of contamination standards – they will be in-line with what has been routine for the city and include both residential and commercial customers. 

On Monday the Lathrop City Council heard the proposal that will be brought back for their approval next month and discussed some of the elements contained within the proposal to make Republic Services – which has provided refuse collection and disposal for the City of Lathrop for almost 25 years – which will include a number of perks not just for the city but for residents as well.

If the contract that was before the council on Monday is approved next month, residents and commercial customers would continue to enjoy solid waste collection as they have always known it, as well as:

uMotor oil and filter recycling weekly – up to 10 quarts of used oil and four used motor oil filters that are properly secured.

uBattery recycling weekly as long as the batteries are properly secured in a Ziploc bag and placed in the recycling container.

uAnnual spring clean-up including e-waste and tires, and winter Christmas tree recycling and green waste pick-up up to 50 pounds per household. 

In addition to regular and special collections, Republic Services will provide solid waste collection at city sites for free, collect up to 18 illegal hazardous waste piles a year at the city’s request, and allow for Public Works to dispose of up to 200 tons of non-hazardous solid waste at the forward landfill every year. 

Republic Services will also, by contract, provide two recycling outreach programs every year – last month on Earth Day the company provided free mulch, tire and mattress disposal, and hazardous waste collection – and will offer a $750 scholarship to each of the five schools inside of Lathrop’s city limits.  

But the new contract, which would continue the partnership for another five years, will mean that residents will pay more every month for solid waste disposal. 

If approved by the council next month, the average Lathrop household would pay an additional 10 percent more every month – up from the $32.52 monthly charge in 2018 to the proposed 2019 average of $37.60. The monthly average includes a $3.95-a-month recycling charge that will be levied to all ratepayers. 

The majority of the price increase comes from the recycling charge, which has affected different communities in the Central Valley in different ways. Because China has severely tightened its contamination standards for what it accepts as recyclables, cities like Manteca had to drastically change its recyclable collection program – kicking off a mini-revolt amongst residents who had appreciated the free container that supplemented regular garbage collection. 

The average senior residential ratepayer will see their bill increase from $25.53 to $28.31 every month, while commercial customers will see a moderate increase as well in addition to a 0.93 percent charge for recycling instead of the fixed-rate fee being proposed for residential customers. 

The structured commercial rates for Lathrop are in stark contrast to what was recently approved in the Sacramento County city of Galt which approved a 12-year extension for their solid waste collection with only the residential rates established at the time of approval. Since then, commercial customers have complained that the provider has hiked their bills more than 400 percent every month – with some business owners holding out on opening their recently-completed buildings in protest of what they feel is an unsustainable increase. 

The Lathrop City Council meets on the second Monday of every month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 7 p.m. For additional information, or to view the agenda for next month’s meeting when it is posted the Thursday evening before the meeting, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.