Soaring Pacifica Trash Rates Already Almost Double What Montara Residents Pay

Pacifica’s city council will consider an additional 1.9 percent rate hike to customers who already pay some of the highest rates in the county.

If you live in Pacifica, it costs $35.95 to have your 32-gallon garbage containers collected.

Just seven or so miles to the south, it costs Montara residents $18.02 to have that same trash bin emptied.

Pacifica residents, who could soon see an additional collection fee rate increase, already pay some of the highest rates on the Peninsula, according to data provided to Patch by Recology, a private waste management company that serves most of San Mateo County.

Recology spokeswoman Gina Antonini said rates for the coastal Peninsula cities were negotiated by Coastal Scavenger, the distressed competitor her company bought out in 2010.

“These were rates that were not set by Recology and were inherited when they bought the service territory and acquired that company because they were having financial issues,” Antonini said.

Recology is in negations with Montara and Pacifica to adjust those rates, Antonini said.

“We'll work to figure out an appropriate rate over the next few months of negotiations,” Antonini said.

Atherton tops the Peninsula trash collection rate pile, with residents paying $55.00 to have a 32-gallon container collected. East Palo Alto ($39.81) is the only other city Recology serves where customers pay more.

San Mateo residents get the most bang for their garbage buck, paying just $17.76 to have their 32-gallon containers emptied.

Recology public affairs manager Gino Gasperini said that his company negotiates contracts with municipalities and county officials for residents in unincorporated areas, who then set residential rates.

“The rates do vary,” Gasperini said. “A lot of the mountainous areas take longer to service than the flat areas here (in San Mateo), so that’s a (cost) driver as well.”

Pacifica’s city council will consider a 1.89 percent rate increase on at a Nov. 26 meeting, according to Pacifica Riptide, which is circulating a downloadable petition protesting the rate hike.

The rate hike would be Pacifica’s fourth since the 2010 Coastal Scavenger takeover, Riptide correspondent Lionel Emde reports.


Recology Trash Collection Rates in San Mateo County


























East Palo Alto *





Foster City





Hillsborough **





San Mateo





Menlo Park





N. Fair Oaks *





Redwood City





San Carlos





West Bay Sanitary Dist.






Not available



Not available


Not available



Not available

El Granada

Not available



Not available




Source: Recology

* East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks residents are given the same size collection carts.

**Hillsborough residents pay an additional $25 monthly fee.

Note: Recology declined to provide rates for 20 and 96 gallon containers in Pacifica, Montara and El Granada.

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Lionel Emde November 01, 2012 at 05:30 AM
How long have you worked for Recology?
Waste Not Want Not November 01, 2012 at 05:34 AM
The real question, my dear Mr. Lionel, is: "How long has Recology worked for you?" See how I did that?
Lionel Emde November 02, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Recology has stolen from the public for long enough. In 2016, the Pacifica city council wil reconsider the contract and your employer will, perhaps, lower the rates through a comptitive bidding process. You've heard of that ,of course? It's used in the real world.
Anthony Soprano November 02, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Looky here Mr. Smarty Pants Lionel Empty. Youse betta watch dem incinerations youse makin about me boyz in waste management. And wassup wit dat competitive biddin garbage? And I means garbage. I know guyz sleepin in da Jersey River for less. You knows, when we was lookin to name our company, some of the boyz suggested we calls it somethin catchy like "Land-fillabusters" or "Garbage to Go" but I thoughts since this was the Bay Area with all of youse environmental kooks and all we should go with somethin that sounded sorta enviro-mental. So we went with dat "Recology" thing. See how we did dat combinin doz two environmentalisms "recycle" and "ecology"? What a scam! LOL! But youse guys sure fell for it. Hook, line and sinker. LOLOL!!! Just thinx. All wese had tado was call ourselves some stupid environmental name and youse guys gave us da keys to da kingdom. Dat guy PT Barnum sure was some sort of genius. True dat! LOLOLOL!!
Lionel Emde November 05, 2012 at 05:30 AM
No Anthony, the Pacifica city council, not the public, fell for it.


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