Davis city officials may consider switching to variable garbage rates based on container size and adding a green waste or composting program later this year.
During a public hearing on a proposed 3 percent sanitation rate increase Tuesday night, City Councilman Dan Wolk asked staff to look at altering the current flat-rate structure and also offering some type of green waste container program.
“The last time this came up, we talked about some larger ideas,” Wolk said. “These are two ideas I think are really worth exploring.”
Utilities Manager Jacques DeBra said staff is currently looking into several solid waste issues and will report back to the council on Nov. 27.
“We have host of solid waste issues to bring back to council,” DeBra said. “The variable rate issue for residential customers is one and how we deal with long-term composting and meeting the 75 percent diversion rate is another.”
California state law requires local jurisdictions to divert 75 percent of its solid waste from landfills by 2020.
Councilman Lucas Frerichs pointed out that Davis has one of the lowest diversion rates in the region, according to a chart put together by staff.
“There are many jurisdictions with significantly larger populations that are doing a much better job in terms of diverting their waste from the landfills,” Frerichs said.
“There’s a real need for us to pick up our game.”
In 2011, Davis had a 59.2 percent diversion rate with a population of 65,547, only slightly above Woodland’s 58.8 percent.
Dixon and Fairfield had 80 percent diversion rates, while Sacramento had 63.8 percent with its population of 466,279.
The city contracts with Davis Waste Removal, Inc. to provide weekly garbage services.
The city is proposing an 89 cent sanitation rate increase for both residential and commercial customers, raising monthly bills from $29.74 to $30.63, to pay for increased landfill fees and other costs as well as recycling efforts such as the pilot Commercial Organic program.
The council will hold another public hearing Sept. 25 before voting. If approved, the new utility rate will go into effect Dec.1.