Main menu

  • toters on the sidewalk

PRESS RELEASE - Hearings Begin this Week On Recology's Refuse Rate Increase Plan - 3/7/17

For immediate release: March 7, 2017

Contact: Rachel Gordon, 415-554-6045



Assessment of company’s proposal will be based on whether it is fair and reasonable


San Francisco, CA – Recology, the San Francisco refuse-collection and processing company, has asked the City for permission to raise residential rates to pay for changes to collection services, facility improvements, higher labor costs, a new landfill agreement and the costs of regulations for compost processing.

The company’s plan would increase rates an average of 16.4 percent on July 1, 2017, an additional 4.98 percent on July 1, 2018, and a 0.62 percent increase on July 1, 2020.

In the first year, the rates would increase by $5.70 a month for an average single-family home, to $40.88, up from the current $35.18.

The actual change in monthly rates would vary based on the type and frequency of service received. Under the proposal, the average single-family household with a trio of 32-gallon black, blue and green bins would pay a $40.88 monthly charge. Service changes to reduce trash and encourage more recycling and composting would be rolled out over a two-year period; the new default service would be a 16-gallon black bin, 64-gallon blue bin and 32-gallon green bin for the same average monthly charge.

In an effort to reduce the volume of landfill trash produced and encourage recycling and composting, the rate structure for apartment buildings would require a greater percentage of recycling and composting to qualify for discounts but reduce the monthly volume charge that customers currently pay.  Apartment building owners now get a diversion discount if more than 10 percent of the volume they produce is diverted from landfill trash to recycling and composting. Under the new proposal, the discount would kick in at 25 percent or more diversion. Volume charges would be reduced to $24.50 per 32 gallons. The fixed charge would remain at $5 per unit.

The City last approved an increase in residential refuse-collection rates in 2013.

San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru will review the final application, hold a series of public hearings – the first will be held on Wednesday, March 8 at City Hall –­ and issue a report and recommended order that assesses whether the company’s request is just and reasonable. The hearing schedule can be found below.

If the director’s hearing is appealed, the recommendation will be forwarded to the City’s Refuse Collection and Disposal Rate Board for consideration, with a final decision expected in the summer. The board is made up of the City Administrator, City Controller and general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the rate hearings and will have many opportunities to comment and ask questions.

In its proposal, Recology is including program changes to reduce the size of the black trash bin, increase the size of the blue bin, repurpose its fleet to allow for the collection of more recyclables and increase the service provided for illegal dumping collection. The company also is seeking additional revenue to pay for the costs of the new landfill agreement for trash disposal, changing regulations on the processing of compostables and rising labor costs.

In addition, Recology is proposing several facility improvement projects to support its operations. Included in the rate application are a proposed $19 million facility for the collection and transfer of compostables and a pilot program to remove recoverable materials from the trash in the black bins. The company has included contingent proposals that could be triggered at a later date to construct new processing facilities for construction and debris materials and black bin trash.

The City has contracted with an independent ratepayer advocate to assist the public during the rate-application proceedings. The ratepayer advocate provides the public with clear and accurate information regarding the proposed new rate structure; helps individuals and organizations formulate comments and questions; and represents the views of the ratepayers during public workshops and hearings. The role of the ratepayer advocate does not preclude members of the public from offering testimony in writing or in person on their own.

The ratepayer advocate can be contacted at, by phone at 415-324-8477 or in writing at SF Ratepayer Advocate, c/o RDJ Enterprises, 1485 Bayshore Boulevard, Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94124.

The Director of Public Works will hold a series of public hearings on Recology’s application in San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, as follows:




Wednesday, March 8

City Hall, Room 400

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Wednesday, March 15

City Hall, Room 400

8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Wednesday, March 22

City Hall, Room 416

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Tuesday, March 28

City Hall, Room 416

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Wednesday, April 19

City Hall, Room 400

8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Wednesday, April 26

City Hall, Room 400

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Wednesday, May 3

City Hall, Room 400

8 a.m. – 11a.m.


      More details on the final rate application and on the review and approval process can be found online at



Press Releases
Release Date
Tuesday, March 7, 2017