Garbage rates could go up for some county residents

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Riverside County supervisors today will consider a proposal to hike the rates charged for waste collection in unincorporated communities as part of an annual inflation adjustment.

Under the proposed new fee schedule, refuse retrieval charges beginning July 1 would go up 2.2 percent in 13 county franchise areas, including Cabazon, Cherry Valley, Desert Center, East Hemet, Lake Matthews, San Jacinto, Thermal, Thousand Palms and Woodcrest.

According to the county Department of Environmental Health, the inflation-based rate adjustment would translate into an additional two to five cents on a customer's bill. The county used data from the core consumer price index for the Los Angeles metropolitan area over the last year to justify the hike.

Five waste haulers contract with the county to service the franchise  zones. One of the companies, Waste Management Inc., requested that three new fees be established along with the rate increases.

The highest new charge, if approved by the Board of Supervisors, would  be a $300 assessment for handling a "separate container ... (used) for construction and demolition waste," according to Department of Environmental Health documents.

Two other fees -- $30 each -- would be charged for sending multiple notices to residents and businesses about unpaid trash collection bills, and for filling recycle bins with solid waste to the point that any recyclables become useless and a separate truck has to be sent to collect the garbage, according to agency documents.
County officials noted that the changes would not affect the majority of customers.

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