The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a rate increase that will increase the cost of residential garbage, recycling and green waste services effective March 1, 2021, in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County.
The increase - the first in 10 years - was less than staff’s recommendation and will partially offset the increased costs of collecting and processing recycling and green waste materials. The increase falls short of the amount required to prepare the county to fully implement a state law that requires weekly residential collection of food waste with green waste effective January 2022.
Under Tuesday’s action, rates will increase $5 a month for 30-, 60-, and 90- gallon garbage carts. An additional increase of $5 a month will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
The Board also approved doubling the subsidy for customers who qualify for the low-income solid waste lifeline rebate program. Effective March 1, the rebate amount will be increased from $5 per month to $10 per month.
While previously a source of revenue, changes in the recycling marketplace in the past few years have made collecting and processing recyclables a significant expense. Additionally, a new state regulation (SB 1383) mandates diverting organic waste (such as food scraps and soiled paper) from landfills to reduce greenhouse gases.
When the regulation goes into effect in January 2022, the county would need to pick up green waste weekly instead of every other week and residents would be required to place food scraps and other recoverable organic waste into their green waste carts. County supervisors expressed a desire to seek a delay in the implementation of SB 1383 or to find alternative financing for equipment and infrastructure costs associated with compliance.
The Department of Waste Management and Recycling serves about 160,000 customers in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County.