SOLANA BEACH — Residential and commercial customers in Solana Beach will see minor increases in waste collection rates beginning July 1 as a result of national inflation trends, with organic recycling services covered as part of the rates.
Single-family residential customers will see monthly rates for weekly waste collection increase from $26.48 to $27.59. For commercial customers, rates for weekly pickup for a 3-yard dumpster — the most common commercial service — will increase around $5 from $112.47 to $117.56 per month.
The Solana Beach City Council unanimously approved the increases at their June 22 meeting.
EDCO, the city’s waste collector, proposed adjusting rates in March, noting that an observed 5% increase in the consumer price index (CPI) could drive up costs. The adopted rate increase based on CPI was capped at 4% under an agreement between EDCO and the city.
While rate increases are not the best news for customers, EDCO officials noted that the new residential rates also conveniently cover the cost of organics recycling collection once per week.
“EDCO is very honored to serve the city of Solana Beach, and we do our best to keep these rates in check with the inflationary environment we’re in,” said EDCO General Manager Jim Ambroso. “Unfortunately, these things have to be passed along, but we hope that the organics program and the other items that we keep adding will enhance the service.”
California’s cities face increased organic recycling requirements as officials aim to lower methane emissions. Commercial businesses have been required to gather and recycle organic waste since 2016, with similar conditions kicking in for residential customers in the past two years.
While organics recycling is included in general waste collection rates for residential customers, commercial customers in Solana Beach will see a separate rate increase for organics collection beginning July 1. City staff said that rates for the most common service, a 65-gallon cart once picked up weekly, will increase from $90.96 to $94.60 per month.
In Solana Beach, organic waste, including food scraps, yard waste, such as clippings and branches, and food-soiled paper, such as coffee filters, tea bags and napkins, should be separated from regular trash in a specific green bin provided by EDCO.
This organic waste is then collected by EDCO and transported to an anaerobic digestion facility to be broken down into biogas, which is then turned into renewable natural gas capable of powering vehicles and gas lines. The leftover material from this process can then be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
“We are fortunate in our relationship with EDCO that they have built-in [digesters] to assist the city in compliance with the state legislation, and the facilities are now online and accepting organic materials from the city,” said Solana Beach Assistant City Manager Dan King.
In compliance with Proposition 218, the city provided notices to all residential customers regarding the planned rate increases before adoption. City staff reported that they did not receive any formal protests as a result.
“We’ve mentioned many times how wonderful EDCO is to work with, and they’ve been very proactive in dealing with the state-mandated organic recycling,” Deputy Mayor Kelly Harless said. “While none of us like rate increases, I have to say that we really get more than our dollar’s worth when it comes to EDCO.”
Residents can find a full breakdown of new rates for trash and recycling collection at single-family and multifamily residences and commercial properties in the June 22 City Council staff report. More information about organics recycling through EDCO is available at solana-beach.edcodisposal.com.