Vol. 10, No. 2 – October 26 – November 8, 2016 – Answer in a Breeze

Hi Sheldon,

I recently noticed that my trash bill went up and I inquired about it.  Harrison Rubbish told me that the city is now charging them $15.61 a barrel for recycle goods, both yard wastes and cans/plastics and bottles.  So the city is now charging us to separate for Harrison to make money on both yard and recycled wastes?  I would love to know who’s really charging who and for what?  What is the city doing with the money?

Sincerely, Cindy Rowland Wilson

Hi Sheldon, thanks for forwarding this concern from Cindy. This is the explanation and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any clarification.

On September 1, commercial rates for those businesses using a 96-gallon recycling barrel (residential type) increased from the previous price of $3 per month (or no charge in many cases), to $15.61 per month. Since the implementation of Assembly Bill 341, (Mandatory Commercial Recycling) in 2012, the City of Ventura and E.J. Harrison have made a concerted effort to establish recycling for every business as required by the new law. However, the previous Franchise Agreement (effective from September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2016) did not provide specific rates for the recycling barrels being provided by E.J. Harrison in order to comply with the new mandatory recycling law. Essentially, E.J. Harrison was absorbing the cost of providing these recycling services without any compensation because our rate schedule did not include this particular rate. As with all recycling services, although the value of the recyclables collected provides some cost reduction in the service, there are still significant costs associated with the collection and processing of recyclables.

During the negotiations of the new Franchise Agreement (effective Sept. 1, 2016) this was recognized as a deficiency in the rate schedule. In order to provide Harrison with appropriate compensation for this service, the City agreed to a commercial barrel recycling rate of $15.61. While the new cost is higher than what businesses were paying for recycling services before the new franchise agreement, it is less expensive than trash collection and more accurately reflects the true cost of collecting and processing recyclables.

Joe Yahner
City of Ventura
Environmental Sustainability Office
(805) 652-4558


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