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Average trash rate in Lathrop jumping $5.08 every month
$3.95 of increase blamed on new recycling reality

Two years ago, the City of Lathrop authorized a rate increase that cost the average resident $0.82 extra every month. 

And as part of a proposed contract extension with Republic Services that is up before the Lathrop City Council on Monday, May 14, those rates could be going up again. 

If the council signs off on the proposal, ratepayers could see a monthly hike of 3.5 percent over what they were paying – based on the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose consumer price index that is built into the contract – in addition to a monthly $3.95 recycling charge stemming from what is being dubbed the “China sword” effect.

If approved, the average Lathrop household would pay an additional $5.08 more every month – up from the $32.52 monthly charge in 2018 to the proposed 2019 average of $37.60. 

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. 

Some communities in Sacramento County, like Galt, have come under fire recently after contract extensions with their garbage collection contractor led to steep increases that more doubled the bills of longtime customers and has prompted some potential business to hold out on opening until something is done at the council level. 

Galt, by comparison, provided its contractor a 12-year extension to their contract that didn’t specifically spell out the rate increases at the time it was approved while Lathrop is only providing Republic Services – which has provided trash pickup and disposal for the city since 1995, a 5-year-extension with the rates clearly spelled out in the documentation that was provided to council. 

The other reason for the rate increase is Lathrop’s geographic location – tied in with the flourishing San Francisco Bay Area with the CPI adjustment that is built into the contract, meaning that as long as development continues to boom over the Altamont and property values continue to climb, the average cost of goods and services in that market is also going to steadily rise as well despite the fact that Lathrop’s annual escalations, while modest, aren’t on par with what is taking place less than hour west. 

If the council approves the contract, the annual rate increases from the CPI will continue through 2024 – when the contract is up again for renewal. 

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, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.