San Rafael, CA – Residents in much of West Marin, parts of Central Marin, and areas of Ross Valley may soon see increases in their monthly waste hauler fees.
At the March 21 public hearing, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider annual rate increase requests from waste management companies Marin Sanitary Service and Recology, which are proposed at 7.11% and 11.06% respectively. The public hearing will take place at 10:30am in the Board Chambers, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 330, in San Rafael.
Marin Sanitary Service’s proposed rate increase of 7.11% would affect all customers within several franchise areas: Central Marin, which encompasses unincorporated parts of Bayside Acres, Country Club Estates, Bret Harte, Point San Quentin, Lucky Drive, and Greenbrae Boardwalk; Ross Valley South, which includes Kentfield, Greenbrae, Kent Woodlands, Del Mesa Heights; and Ross Valley North, which covers Sleepy Hollow and Oak Manor. For an example of Marin Sanitary Service rate increase, it would add $3.68 per month to the standard residential three cart service, for a new monthly total of $55.42.
The companies hold waste hauler franchise agreements with the County of Marin and typically propose rate increases each year. The proposed 11.06% rate increase from Recology would impact all the West Marin coast communities except for Stinson Beach and Bolinas. For example, this would bring an increase of $6.86 per month for the company’s most common residential service package, for a monthly total of $68.87.
These proposed rate increases for both Recology and Marin Sanitary Service were reviewed by an independent third-party, R3 Consulting Group, that specializes in waste industry practices. The consultant will be providing a presentation at the March 21 Board of Supervisors meeting to explain the process and the rate breakdowns. If the Board approves of the rate increases, the new rates would be effective as of April 1, 2023.
Marin Sanitary Service’s rate increase is comprised of two components, with the first being a 5.76% rate adjustment, technically effective January 1, 2023. As detailed in their franchise agreement with the County of Marin their rate adjustment methodology uses the Water, Sewer, and Trash index. The second component is a temporary adjustment of 1.35% to account for the delayed implementation date of April 1 instead of January 1. That temporary adjustment is necessary to avoid retroactive billing to customers and will expire January 1, 2024.
The 11.06% rate increase from Recology is also comprised of two components but uses a different calculation method than Marin Sanitary Service. As identified in their franchise agreement with the County of Marin, Recology uses the Refuse Rate Index for calculating their rates, which brings an increase of 10.44% this year. The RRI is comprised of five specific Bureau of Labor Statistics indices that more accurately reflect the costs experienced by waste haulers than a simple Consumer Price Index adjustment would encompass. The annual adjustment is higher than normal due to a 77.56% change in the price of diesel fuel, accounting for nearly one half of the overall RRI increase. The second component is a 0.62% temporary adjustment to account for the delayed implementation date of April 1, instead of January 1. That temporary adjustment is necessary to avoid retroactive billing to customers and will expire January 1, 2024.
As for prior rate increases, Marin Sanitary Service’s rates were raised by 1.24% on January 1, 2022. For Recology, the prior increase of 11.34% went into effect on May 1, 2022.