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June 14, 2021

Garbage rates are on the rise

Garbage and recycling pick-up rates will rise 5.58 percent starting July 1 as part of the annual rate adjustment stipulated in Recology San Benito County’s contract with the cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista as well as the county.

For illustrative purposes, the monthly rate on a 20-gallon garbage cart, which includes a 20-gallon recycling cart, will rise 66 cents from $14.66 to $15.32. The rate on a 32- or 35-gallon garbage cart will rise 77 cents; a 64-gallon cart will cost $1.56 more per month; and a 96-gallon cart will jump $2.24.

Yard waste carts, which are 96 gallons, will costs 29 cents more per month, jumping to $8.37 from $8.08.

The rate increases are contractual and based on Department of Labor Statistics indices, which reflect operating costs for businesses.

“Most jurisdictions have gone to these indices” when handling garbage rates in contracts, said Mandy Rose, director of the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Department. “That way, you don’t pay for annual audits” to determine rates each year.

Recology must comply with all the terms and conditions of its contract with local jurisdictions in order to qualify for rate increases. Among those conditions, Rose noted, are paying franchise fees on time, providing local public education services and doing school presentations.

This year’s 66-cent increase for the 20-gallon rate follows last year’s 43-cent-per-month jump. Two years ago, rates dropped by 40 cents per month after the Consumer Price Index rose while fuel rates dropped.

“We encourage everybody to get the smallest (garbage can) at the lowest rate because the more recycling you do, the less you pay,” Rose said.

Garbage cans from 32 gallons and up come with a 64-gallon recycling cart.

All residential and business customers in the county will receive a letter notifying them of the rate increase.

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