South City to see trash rate increase

Residents will need to fork out some more dough for trash service in the Industrial City beginning in July.

The City Council approved a rate hike of 2.5 percent by the South San Francisco Scavenger Co., the city’s trash hauler since 1997.

The fees for trash pickup in the city increases nearly every year based on a formula in the 1997 contract agreement with the company, and they were bumped up last summer to their present levels. A resident with a 32-gallon can currently pays $20.78 per month while a business pays $19.95 for the same size can.

The increase, approved Wednesday, will hike the rates to $21.30 and $20.45, respectively.

The fee hike also applies to the disposal of sludge from South San Francisco’s Treatment Plant, raising fees to the city from $47.46 per ton to $48.64 and costing the Water Quality Control Plant approximately $17,000 more annually.

Councilman Joe Fernekes said the service by South San Francisco Scavenger Co. has been “excellent” and the company does a good job for the community.

The proposed increase is nothing different from the way the company has charged for its services previously, he said.

The price of gas has added to South San Francisco Scavenger Co.’s costs, but it has not asked for anything more than what the 1997 contract calls for, Chief Financial Officer Paul Formosa said.

“We’re happy that the city is pleased with our service,” Formosa said. “We’ve been trying to live withinthe normal rate changes under the contract.”

But Sonny Koya, who has lived in the Paradise Valley neighborhood since 1988, called the current prices “astronomical” and questioned why he must pay more for a service once done by three men and now performed by a single garbage-truck driver.

Koya said he was “unhappy” with the $63 he paid for the last three months of service and could not understand why it was that high.

“I can’t imagine what the justification is for them charging so much in the first place and then asking for a rate hike,” Koya said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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