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Comment on plans for meeting state recycling mandates in March 12 city council meeting

March 11, 2019

NEEDLES — A plan for meeting state mandates for recycling faces a public hearing during the regular meeting of Needles City Council on Tuesday, March 12.

Open sessions begin at 6 p.m. in council chambers, 1111 Bailey Ave. at J Street.

A series of workshop meetings have preceded the formal public hearing, which is being held to meet provisions of California’s Proposition 218: an amendment to the state constitution that provides guidelines for notification and provides a protest opportunity when cities consider imposing or increasing fees as an incident of property ownership.

“We have to have recycling,” City Manager Rick Daniels explained. “The only place funds are available to do that is from customers, so it’s subject to Prop. 218. Because (collection of trash and recyclables is) a property-based service like water and sewer, we have to send a notice. If more than 20 percent send a letter of objection or appear at a public hearing objecting it has to go to a vote.

“If more than 51 percent vote it down then it’s back to the drawing board.”

The plan is to have Allied Waste Transport Inc. (Republic), which has provided the city’s current trash collection service since the ’90s, collect recyclables at curbside. Proposed new rates, detailed in the city’s notice of the public hearing and calculated by container sizes and collection frequency, include:

• Commercial or multi-family recycling cart rates at $23.73 for a 95 gallon cart or $47.76 for a 196 gallon container. Examples are shown for up to three carts collected up to six times a month ($427.14); or containers twice a month.

• Commercial cardboard recycling, once a month, at $40 for three cubic yards.

• Residential recycling carts at $2 per month in addition to current rates of $24.39 per month for pickup twice a week: once for a trash cart, once for a recycling cart. Examples are shown for up to four carts.

Residential bin rates are listed at $89.47 for 1.5 cubic yards; $148.55 for three cubic yards.

An annual rate adjustment is to start Jan. 1, 2020, equal to the U.S. city average Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers of water, sewer and trash collection services.

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