NEWSLETTER ABOUT PETALUMA’S COMMITMENT TO ZERO WASTE
To learn more about Petaluma’s solid waste services, zero energy programs, and possible rate increases, read this NEWSLETTER.
WASTE IMPACTS OUR CLIMATE — HOW OUR CHOICES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Energy and natural resources are used to make everything we buy, from extracting the resources from the ground, to refining materials into products, and transporting the products to stores. For most products, fossil fuels are used, creating climate and air pollution. When products are landfilled after use, some of the energy and resources that went into the products is wasted. When the products came from plants or animals, their landfilling creates methane, another potent source of climate and air pollution. Choosing products that can be reused, recycled, or composted prevents this waste. As an added bonus, reducing waste often saves money!
NOTICE OF POSSIBLE RATE INCREASE
This is a notice to let you know that the maximum allowable rates for solid waste services may be increased in 2021 and 2022. Solid Waste Services include collection, processing, and disposal of landfilled waste, recyclables, and organic materials. These services are provided by an exclusive franchise agreement between the City of Petaluma and Recology Sonoma Marin. The franchise agreement is a contract that establishes the services to be provided by Recology and the maximum rates they can charge customers for the services. If approved, the proposed maximum rate increases will take place on February 1, 2021, July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. The current maximum collection rates will remain in effect until January 31, 2020.
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER PROPOSED RATES
The City Council will consider the proposed maximum rate increases at a virtual public hearing on December 21, 2020 at 6:45 p.m. You can attend the virtual meeting through this zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/94268967850
This hearing is your opportunity to file a formal response regarding the proposed new maximum rates. The City Council may not increase the maximum rates if a majority of rate payers affected submit written protests prior to the close of the public hearing. To submit a written protest, mail a letter stating your position to the City Clerk, 11 English Street, Petaluma, CA 94952. Or, drop your letter at the drop box located in front of City Hall on December 21, 2020 from 4 pm until the conclusion of the public hearing that evening. Protests must identify the affected property by address, Assessor’s Parcel Number, or customer account number, and include the name and signature of the property owner or customers submitting the protest. Any person may appear at the virtual public hearing and be heard on any matter related to the proposed maximum solid waste rate increases.
MAINTAINING VIABLE SOLID WASTE SERVICES
Since the original franchise agreement was approved in 2012, the cost of providing solid waste services has increased, and therefore the maximum rates that Recology may charge need to be reviewed. The franchise agreement provides for rate reviews. When a third party reviewed the cost of providing solid waste services and the amount Recology was collecting, they determined that Recology was losing $4.8 million annually. Recology, an employee-owned company, employs unionized employees, uses a modern fleet that reduces carbon emissions, and provides several free services such as street sweeping and bulky item pick-ups.
It is important to ensure that the City’s solid waste services are financially sustainable and maintain the highest standards. That is the reason that changes to the maximum solid waste service rates are being proposed, and why the maximum rates are adjusted annually. City staff have worked with Recology to slowly increase maximum rates so that over time, the rates collected for garbage services will be in line with the cost to collect and process the City’s solid waste. Tables 1 and 2 in the full NEWSLETTER provide the proposed maximum rates for your review.
For more information call Recology at 800-243-0291 or email RSMSupportteam@recology.com