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By city not dumping trash collection service, Manteca households & businesses save $$$$
Manteca’s move to a universal 96-gallon solid waste system will mean one cart size will fit all needs — recycling, green/organic waste, and garbage. As such it will eliminate the current 32 and 64 gallon carts now in use.

Tracy residents will pay $74.19 a month for residential garbage collection when 2026 rolls around.

The city of 95,000 was the first in the region to put in place a system designed to comply with a looming state mandate to divert 75 percent of a city’s food waste from being buried at landfills by 2025.

Tracy contracts its waste collection to a private firm.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday set in motion steps to comply with more robust California recycling requirements and landfill diversions as well. As such it will be the second city to do so in San Joaquin County

But when the dust settles and rates are adopted for upgraded service that could start as early as July 16, Manteca households ultimately will pay $63.07 a month at the start of 2027.

That’s $9.12 less a month than Tracy or $109.54 less a year.

Manteca households will initially pay $47.41 a month to implement the state mandate later this year. Tracy’s current rate is at $56.57 with the food diversion mandate included.
Manteca household rate will ratchet up to $63.07 in incremental steps over the next five years. The Tracy rates will also climb but to $74.19

Manteca now has the lowest rate in the region for monthly garbage service at $34.33 for a 96-gallon cart, $1.67 a month less than the next lowest which is Ripon.

How does Manteca do it?

The answer is simple. They are the only city in the Northern San Joaquin Valley — and among the few in the state — that has a waste collection system 100 percent in-house instead of contracting it out.

And, as an added bonus, the city has its own wastewater treatment plant and was innovative enough to put in facilities to convert menthane produced from treating sewage and with food waste to make compressed natural gas.

That allows it to use the slurry created from grinding up high volumes of commercial food waste from supermarkets, restaurants, schools, and such to create fuel to power its solid waste collection trucks instead of paying another entity to take it off its hands to repurpose it for their benefit.

“We get inquiries form other cities all the time wanting to know how Manteca does it,”  Peni Basalusalu, who services as the city’s deputy director of public works in charge of solid waste, said.

Basalusalu noted Manteca is “unique” among California cities for retaining full control of its solid waste collection.

“It is why we have one of the lowest rates around and will continue to have rates that are among the lowest,” Basalusalu said.

The current average residential rate for solid waste residential collection in the region is $58.27 a month. Manteca’s current 96-gallon rate is $34.33.

If the five-year rate plan is adopted after a scheduled May 16 protest hearing the following rate increase comparison on a monthly basis for 2023 would be:

*$47.41 for Manteca’s proposed rate.

*$36.00 for Ripon.

*$43.02 for Lathrop.

*$45.85 for Modesto.

*$50.70 for Stockton.

*$57.79 for Sacramento.

*$56.57 for Tracy.

*$100.37 for Lodi.

It should be noted all of the aforementioned cities — with the exception of Tracy — are facing significant monthly cost jumps due to the need to comply with the food waste law.

The implementation plan splits the rate hike into four steps.

That means the biggest jump will occur this year when all residential customers will go to 96 gallon carts. That will take the current $34.33 charge for a 96 gallon cart up $13.08 to $47.41 a month.

Then in the next four years:
*On Jan. 1, 2024, the rate will go up $3.51 to $50.92.

*On Jan. 1, 2025, the rate will go up $3.76 to $54.68.

*On Jan. 1, 2026, the rate will go up $4.04 to $58.72.

*On Jan. 1, 2036, the rate will go up $4.35 to $63.07.

The current Manteca charge for a 2-yard commercial container is $424.47.

If the proposed rate increase goes into effect the 2023 comparison on a monthly basis would be:

*$482.71 for Manteca’s proposed rate.

*$244.87 for Lathrop.

*$324.54 for Modesto.

*$475.90 for Stockton.

*$648.62 for Tracy.

*$879.05 for Lodi.

It will go to $762.69 a month on Jan. 1, 2024, $845.82 a month on Jan. 1, 2025, $938.01 a month on Jan. 1, 2026, $1,040,26. a month on Jan. 1, 2026, and $1,153.65 a month of Jan. 1, 2027.

Just over two decades ago, Manteca doubled down on keeping solid waste collection in-house.

A national movement at the time to solve municipal financial issues by outsourcing services that the private sector could do had prompted a push in Manteca led by then Mayor Carlon Perry and then Councilwoman Denise Giordano to consider doing the same with city solid waste collection and possibly even the wastewater treatment plant.

That led to a thorough examination of both operations.

It included two analyses. One done internally by department heads and rank and file employees, the other by an outside consultant.

The end result when weighed comparing apples with apples, it was less expensive to keep both in-house. At the same time, there were suggestions from frontline workers that were implemented that helped assure that costs would stay lower than in the private sector.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email