News - March 24, 2010

Garbage: Menlo Park residents in line for big rate hike

by Sean Howell

If you live in Menlo Park, taking out the trash is about to get a lot more expensive.

Under a proposal by city management, garbage rates would increase 28 percent this year for multi-family and commercial property owners. They would jump by $5 per can, per month for owners of single-family homes, regardless of the can's size.

Those rate hikes follow an 18 percent increase last year, as the city works to pay off its debt with a waste provider whose contract is about to expire.

Some homeowners would be in line for nearly a 70 percent rate increase since 2008, if the City Council adopts the recommendation by city management at its meeting Tuesday, March 23. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, located in the Civic Center complex.

Rates for homeowners with one 32-gallon can would increase to $19.80 per month, and rates for homeowners with two or three 32-gallon cans would increase to $48 or $72, respectively. Those rates are close to the average in the South Bay Waste Management Agency.

While several factors play into the decision on setting garbage rates, the primary one is the cost to the city's provider, Allied Waste. The city's rate increases have not kept pace with those costs, putting Menlo Park into nearly $1 million of debt with Allied.

An independent contractor reviewed Allied's cost numbers, according to city staff.

Recology will take over the city's waste-collection contract in early 2011. The company changed its name from Norcal Waste after two major bribery scandals in the past decade.

The cost increase to commercial and multi-tenant property owners will be retroactive to the beginning of this year, while rate increases for single-family homes won't go into effect until July 1.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields