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Garbage rate hike okayed
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City officials approved a rate hike request made by the garbage hauler, Bertolotti-Ceres Disposal.

The proposed rate hike will take effect on Jan. 1 and cause rates to jump 45 cents per month for a 90-gallon commercial and residential wastewheeler, from $18.70 to $19.15 per month. The rate for the 60-gallon wastewheeler would jump 35 cents, from $14.75 to $15.10 per month. The rate for the 60-gallon can at mobilehome parks would increase 30 cents, from $11.40 to $11.70 per month.

The proposed increase would raise the cost of a one-yard bin collected once per week from $39.37 to $40.27 per month.

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recently increased the cost of dumping trash at the county's waste-to-energy plant, from $25 per ton to $28 per ton effective last August. Since 77 percent of Ceres' waste goes to the westside facility, Bertolotti-Ceres Disposal has asked to be able to pass along the extra costs onto customers.

Nobody spoke at the Dec. 10 public hearing on the matter.

The county increased the tipping fee at the waste-to-energy plant to comply with the mandates of AB 939, a state law passed in the 1990s to deal with reducing waste.

In tongue-in-cheek fashion, Mayor Anthony Cannella asked Supervisor James DeMartini sitting in the audience "why the county keeps sticking it to us." DeMartini good naturedly answered, saying the county had not raised fees for the disposal of household hazardous waste in 15 years "I think." DeMartini said the increase seemed reasonable.

The rate hike was approved in a unanimous 4-0 vote. The council is short a member due to the death of Councilman Rob Phipps on Dec. 2.