Trash pickup in Danville is going to cost a bit more starting next month, following action by the Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority. At its Jan. 29 meeting, the CCSWA approved rate increases ranging from 4 percent in Danville to 9 percent in Lafayette.
Danville Town Councilman Mike Shimansky, who serves as chairman for the CCSWA, said that the increases came after the authority reviewed its contract with Allied Waste and Waste Management.
"This is the fifth year we are reviewing our rates," Shimansky said. "Every agency that's involved redid their rates and Danville raised theirs 4 percent. That's the lowest amount of all the cities involved."
The increase will mean that residents will be paying $17 per month for the waste hauling service. This is a median figure historically for Danville, with the highest rate in the past 15 years being $21.75 in 1993 and the lowest being $11.50 in 1996.
The increases approved by the authority came from the municipalities themselves. Danville council members discussed the rates at the Nov. 18 meeting and approved the 4 percent increase on a 4-1 vote. Shimansky was the lone No vote, saying that he did not believe an increase was the right idea at the time.
"We raised the rates so we could have a surplus and a reserve. I didn't believe that under the economic circumstances that we needed a reserve," he explained.
Other council members argued that having a slight increase now means that any other increases would also be small, rather than hitting the town with a large scale increase down the road.
Shimansky and the other members of the authority voted unanimously in favor of the increases at their January meeting. He explained that once the council made its decision, he as a representative of the council needed to vote as the council did.
"I still think that we should have kept the rates where they were. But the 4-1 vote basically told Candace (Councilwoman Candace Andersen, the other Danville representative on the authority) how to vote."
The new rates will take effect beginning March 1.
Of the members of the solid waste authority, Orinda has the highest rate at $27.35 per month and Walnut Creek the lowest at $15.90. Shimansky said Orinda's rates are high due to the narrow winding roads in the town and Walnut Creek's residential rates are lower because they are able to subsidize some of their residential rates through their commercial waste hauling fees.
Residents looking to save money on their waste fees can opt to use a smaller size bin for their pickup. The $17 monthly fee is for pickup of the standard 32-gallon blue bins. Reducing the size to a 20-gallon "minicart" would drop the monthly cost for waste pickup to $14.74.