City Council approves contracted waste rate increase

Waste Management provided the City Manager with the rate increase chart of residential mixed solid waste rates for Winters residents. (Courtesy graphic)

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In both their first meeting of the new year, and the first full meeting with newly elected councilmembers, the Winters City Council held a brief in-person-only meeting on Jan. 10. The meeting had two principal discussion items, including a rate increase for Waste Management in Winters.

City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa explained that Winters will be subject to an off-cycle increase in tipping fees at the gates of the central landfill, which will translate to an increase in waste management rates for Winters residents. 

“The rates are being adjusted because the county,” Trepa continued, “underwent a competitive solicitation for a landfill operator, and the result of that is — the costs went up about $1 million a year, primarily for two reasons. One, for increases in prevailing wage rates based on the inflation we’ve all been experiencing, and then also complying with the emission standards for air quality associated with the heavy equipment being used out of the landfill…” 

With the costs increasing, the county moved the costs down to individual cities, including Winters, and Trepa explained “under our agreement with Yolo county” it has “the ability, with 60 days notice, to pass that cost on to the individual cities as well as (its) own unincorporated areas, so they provided us 60-day notice back in October — we took that information, provided it to Waste Management — and they calculated what that net increase would be for solid waste disposal rates for our residents.”

Because of an existing agreement with the county, this means that “essentially this has already been pre-authorized for approval,” Trepa said, and there aren’t any available avenues for avoiding the rate increase. 

For Winters residents, Trepa summarized the change as “an 8.44 percent increase in our tipping fees at the gate at the central landfill.” According to the calculations from Waste Management, it translates to a 2.85 percent increase across all of the rate structures — meaning it will affect residential, commercial and industrial rates.

“That equates to about less than a dollar a month for our residential accounts,” Trepa said.

Following the city manager’s presentation, the councilmembers were invited to ask representatives from Waste Management some questions about the changes.

Mayor Bill Biasi inquired about the difference in rate increases for Winters residents versus other city residents, referencing an attached chart of estimated tons per household.

“Winters —  compared to Woodland, Davis, West Sac. — ours is higher, and I was just wondering if you know why,” Biasi asked.

Trepa answered that having inquired with the County, the probable “largest contributing factor to that is that the residents in Winters recycle less than the residents in the other communities” based on records in the tracking of tickets at the central landfill.

Waste Management representative Kayla Rodriguez said data showed Winters produces more trash per home compared to a bigger city like West Sacrament, as well as noting that the difference in population may contribute to this number.

Biasi also confirmed that, since this is an off-cycle increase, the rates are set to increase again in July. Biase noted his displeasure but conceded, “unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a whole lot we can really do about it,” noting that the City of Winters is under contract with Waste Management.

“I don’t like to see our rates go up,” Biasi added, “but I don’t think we have any choice.”

The motion was passed unanimously and the rate increase immediately goes into effect.

Winters residents are able to select a trash bin capacity of 32-gallon, 64-gallon or 96-gallon. All residents each receive a 96-gallon recycle bin, a 96-gallon green waste bin and yearly bulky pickup.

The Winters residential mixed solid waste rates (as approved on July 1, 2022) would increase this month from:

  • $40.50 to $41.24 for one 32-gallon trash/one 96-gallon recycle/one 96-gallon green waste/yearly bulky
  • $44.69 to $45.56 for one 64-gallon trash/one 96-gallon recycle/one 96-gallon green waste/yearly bulky
  • $52.37 to $53.45 for one 96-gallon trash/one 96-gallon recycle/one 96-gallon green waste/yearly bulky

Updated to include the breakdown of residential mixed solid waste rate increases.

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