garbage.jpgSan Francisco garbage company Recology is asking to increase rates for residential customers by 21.5 percent later this year to cover the cost of increased recycling and composting, city officials said today.

The impact of the proposed rate increase would vary depending on the type and frequency of service, but the average single-family household would pay $34.51 a month, or $6.60 more than the current rate, according to Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for San Francisco’s Department of Public Works.

Switching from a 32-gallon black trash bin to a 20-gallon bin would lower rates to $25.13 per month.

Rate increases for apartment buildings would include discounts to encourage more recycling and composting. Apartment rate increases would be capped at 25 percent in 2014 and 50 percent in 2015.

Recology initially asked for a 23.75 percent increase in a draft application filed in December. A final, revised application was submitted Thursday.

An informational workshop will be held on Thursday, March 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall, and the first of several DPW directors hearings will take place on April 12 at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Recology has said it needs to increase rates to cover the cost of increased recycling and composting, especially as more customers switch to smaller black bins, according to Gordon. In addition, the company says it needs to cover rising labor and fuel costs and test a new trash-processing system intended to increase diversion from landfill.

Currently, customers are charged only on the volume of black trash bins used, but the company wants to add a charge for the blue and green bins, Gordon said.

The city approved an increase in rates in 2006 that included inflation-based adjustments over a five-year period. Recology last adjusted rates in 2010.

Recology is also negotiating an agreement with the city to take over the collection of illegally dumped trash and service city sidewalk and park trash cans more frequently, Gordon said.

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