Pressure to reduce refuse by 50% by the year 2000 has prompted the City Council to consider increasing rates for trash disposal services in order to fund more recycling programs, city officials said Tuesday.
"A raise in rates is never a good thing, but I think this is necessary because it's for a good purpose and this way makes it palatable for everyone," said Camarillo Councilman Bill Liebmann, who will vote on the issue at tonight's meeting.
The demand to pare down the amount of solid waste comes from a state mandate that calls for cities to reduce waste production by pursuing alternative methods, such as recycling. If they do not comply, cities can face up to $1,000 a day in state-imposed fines.
The rate increase would affect commercial properties and multifamily homes, such as condominiums and apartments.
For noncommercial properties, the fee increase would mean a 10% increase, amounting to no more than $1 a month per customer.
The bulk of the increase, which could range from 15% to 30%, would go toward expanding recycling services in commercial areas.
The increase would also include free recycling bins for customers, which could cost the city between $100 and $700 apiece.
So far, the city's recycling program has reduced waste by 41%. Officials are hoping the proposed fee hike will cover the rest, said Rebecca Guay, management assistant for the Public Services Department.