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More on Skyrocketing Garbage Rates
February 23, 2006

The following was received from Supervisor John Gioia. I guess the critical information is the reality of the high cost of transferring from a small truck to a large truck and shipping our garbage and trash somewhere else. For many years, we have had the (economic) advantage of a home town land fill.


Probably the only thing we can collectively do about this is to try, as a society, to recycle more, compost more, waste less and reduce the bulk of packages, all to  reduce the remainder of the waste stream that soon will have to be hauled to another county.


Although the fee is actually to cover transportation and dumping fees at a landfill in another county, it perhaps misleadingly is termed “Integrated Resource Recovery Facility Surcharge.”


If you really want to know all there is about trash and garbage in West Contra Costa, visit http://www.recyclemore.org/.



Your email explanation regarding the increased garbage rates is not complete or fully accurate.  In your email, you state that: "the big increase was a fee for the Integrated Resource and Recovery Facility (IRRF)...".  The IRRF is the recycling center which processes all of the green waste collected in West County.  The "big increase" was NOT for the IRRF.  

The major increase in the fee is due to one simple fact --  the Richmond Landfill (the "garbage dump") has reached capacity and the State Regional Water Quality Control Board has  ordered the landfill to close within the next few months.    Consequently, the West County cities (including Richmond) and the County have all agreed that their garbage will be taken to a landfill in Solano County (near Fairfield) called Potrero Hills (also owned by Republic Services).  

As you recall, you and the City Council voted, along with the County, to issue a permit to Richmond Sanitary to construct a "transfer station" at the existing Richmond landfill site.  All West County solid waste will be taken by garbage truck to the newly constructed transfer station and transferred onto larger trucks and transported about 30 miles to the Potrero Hills landfill.    

The main part of the garbage fee increase is to cover this new increased cost of transporting and disposing of West County garbage at a new landfill in Solano County since the Richmond landfill will no longer be able to accept any more trash (other than self-hauled waste).

Please send this out to those who received your email.  Thanks.

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
11780 San Pablo Ave., Suite D
El Cerrito, CA  94530
Phone: (510) 374-3231
Fax:      (510) 374-3429