By KAREN VELIE
Los Osos residents will be paying more for garbage collection next year if the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors votes to approve a more than 25 percent increase requested by Mission Country Disposal (MCD).
Countywide, multiple garbage companies have requested rate increases to cover the cost of recycling with China, but while most have raised rates from 7 to 13 percent, MCD is requesting a 25.31 percent increase. Garbage companies are restricted to a 7 percent profit for their services.
In demonstrating a need for the requested rate hike, MCD reported increases of 7.5 percent for employee pay, 5.5 percent for recycling, 3.5 percent for vehicle operation and maintenance costs, and 2.7 percent for all other cost increases and pass-through costs.
County staff is recommending, if less than 50 percent of residents mailed in a written protest, the supervisors vote to approve the requested rate increase.
However, several residents are asking the board to either remove the 10 percent franchise fee added to Los Osos garbage bills, or put the garbage franchise out to bid to help a community already burdened with skyrocketing sewer and water bills.
“People are already struggling to pay their utility bills, and its bad timing to do this at the holiday season when residents are distracted,” said Julie Tacker, a 50-year resident of Los Osos.