State Legislation on Organic Waste to Impact La Verne Refuse Rates
Residents Invited to Learn More and Participate in Public Hearing
May 6, 2021
La Verne, CA – Similar to many other cities throughout California, the City of La Verne is considering a refuse service rate increase to cover the increased costs of organics and green waste disposal brought about by recent State legislation, as well as a 3.49% increase based on the Consumer Price Index. The La Verne City Council will hear a presentation (see below) on this matter at their regular city council meeting on Monday, May 17th, followed by a formal public hearing on Monday, June 21st.
All cities in the State, including La Verne, face the most stringent solid waste legislation in California history. For the City, its residents and businesses to remain in compliance with State Law, new services are necessary, none of which are funded by the State. Therefore, these services must be funded through solid waste rates.
Assembly Bill 1594, which went into effect last year, no longer allows diversion credit for green waste that is used as Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) for landfills, despite the fact that approximately one-third of all green waste in Southern California was used as ADC. Since green waste is no longer able to be used in this manner, green waste disposal costs have increased by 42% over the last year, from $46.96 per ton to $81.37 per ton.
Additionally, Senate Bill 1383 mandates a 75% reduction in the level of statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2025. Cities will also have to increase edible food recovery, starting in 2022. As a result of this bill, organic waste will no longer be permitted for disposal in landfills. Unfortunately, the demand for food and green waste composting facilities will far outweigh the permitted capacity. Currently, 148 composting facilities process green waste and only 19 of those facilities are permitted for both green waste and food waste.
To accommodate the State’s requirements under SB 1383 and ensure cities serviced by Waste Management have an outlet to process their organics, Waste Management acquired the South Valley Composting Facility in Tulare. This facility is fully permitted to accept all organic material from La Verne and the associated cost to process, transport and compost organics from La Verne at the facility is $116.54 per ton.
As previously described, the costs to process organic waste is significantly more expensive, requiring a refuse rate increase to cover these new legislation related expenses. It is important to note that the City of La Verne, like all California cities, is subject to the requirements of Proposition 218 and therefore is required by law to charge customers no more than the cost of providing services. For a more detailed breakdown of the necessary rate increase schedule, please review the public hearing notice.
La Verne residents are encouraged to tune into the May 17th council meeting to learn more about the State legislation and the impacts it will have on how customers dispose of solid waste and service rates. Additionally, Proposition 218 contains specific protest procedures for approving any increase in solid waste service rates. Any property owner or tenant who is directly responsible for payment of solid waste service rates (each, a “solid waste customer”) has a right to protest and may submit a written protest against the proposed solid waste service rates. At the public hearing on June 21st at 6:30 p.m., the City Council will hear and consider all objections or protests to the proposed solid waste service rates.
Staff Contact: Tracy Costello, Public Works Manager