Facing steep revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic economy, the city of Riverside is considering increasing its fees for trash and recycle pickup.
In the proposal, monthly costs for residential pick-up services would increase by 15 percent in October. Which means standard curbside pick-up would go up by a little over $4 and backyard pickup by almost $7. Yearly increases would continue for four years at around a 3 percent rate.
KVCR heard from one concerned resident who wished to only be identified by her first name. Adrien of Riverside points out this year’s increase while small could mean the difference for some people between affording an extra item at the grocery store or a few gallons of gas.
“It seems like a really inequitable increase given how people’s incomes are at this point either frozen or reducing,” said Adrien.
The city said in an email that it needs the increase in order to generate enough revenue to keep trash services operating according to industry standards. City refuse services are facing a projected $4.3 million deficit from fiscal year 2019-2020 due to pandemic related shortfalls. The city looked at contracting out waste collection but an audit showed this would not save money.
And while the city dipped into the reserves to cover the debts, they say they need the increase to cover costs like staff, vehicle maintenance and new state recycling regulations.
With more people at home these days there has been an increase in residential waste collection, but a commercial rates increase for businesses has also been proposed in order to meet state requirements.
Residents must submit their written comments by mail or email to the city clerk before 1 pm on September 15.