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NEW LETTER: Harder Pushes State to Address Soaring Garbage Collection Rates

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder sent a letter to CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner urging her to explore options to lower the garbage collection fees that have recently skyrocketed across the Central Valley. Last month, the Modesto Bee reported that “huge rate increases” were coming to garbage service customers in the Valley. In some areas of Turlock, rates are being more than doubled to as much as $53.64 per month. Similar increases are impacting communities in Denair, Empire, Hickman and La Grange.

The letter acknowledges that these rate hikes are due to the implementation of Senate Bill 1383, but urges Director Machi Wagoner to find alternatives to passing these rate increases from local governments on to individuals in the Valley.

 

“From the gas pump to the grocery store, Valley families are getting hit from every direction right now. They absolutely can’t afford to see their garbage collection bills double,” said Rep. Harder. “While SB 1383 is an important part of our fight against climate change, it should be up to our state to balance its budget and not allow these huge costs to be passed onto Valley families.”

 

Read the full letter below and online here.

Dear Director Machi Wagoner, 

I write today to express my concern regarding the significant increases in garbage collection rates being forced upon my constituents. I urge you to explore options that will lower these garbage collection fees and help ease the financial burden felt by my constituents.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Central Valley residents have fought to keep their heads above water as they have lost local jobs and closed businesses. My constituents have made repeated sacrifices to ensure their already stretched wallets can continue to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. While Senate Bill 1383 is an important step in addressing climate change, it is unacceptable that these huge increases in garbage collection rates are being pushed onto the individual without any form of assistance or relief from the state. For residents in the unincorporated parts of Turlock, this means having to now pay $53.64 a month for collection services, an increase of nearly $30. Folks in Denair, Empire, Hickman and La Grange will soon be paying $51.91 a month, over $25 more a month than their current rate.

These increases threaten the livelihood of many folks in my community, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck. Further, the threat of fines for residents and businesses who do not comply is equally concerning and ignores the real-world hardships currently being felt by the Central Valley. I strongly urge you to prioritize finding a solution that will lower these garbage collection fees and relieve the financial burden placed on individuals by this statewide initiative in communities like mine.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter, and I look forward to working with you to resolve this issue.

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