Del Mar approves pay-as-you-throw rates

By Claire Harlin

The more Del Mar residents put on the curb each week, the more they’ll pay in their solid waste bills, under a measure for which the Del Mar City Council gave the final go-ahead on Dec. 12. The new system will go into effect next spring.

As part of the Proposition 218 process, which allows citizens to overturn changes in property-related fees if the majority of citizens are in opposition, the council opened the issue up to the community in October and distributed 4,305 notices to rate-payers. However, only seven citizens submitted written protest of any kind. The city would have had to receive 1,117 written protests by Dec. 12 to qualify as “majority protest,” said City Clerk Mercedes Martin.

The new system, which was in part implemented to incentivize recycling, will offer three sizes of trash bin. Those who choose a 64-gallon trash container will see no rate change; those who choose a 96-gallon container will see their rate go up $2; and those who choose a 32-gallon “mini can” will see the biggest incentive, paying about $4 less than their current rate. Recycling will be unlimited.

After proposing the pay-as-you-throw system in the spring, the council opened for bid the city’s solid waste and diversion services. Four companies came forth, and the council decided to recontract with Coast Waste Management.

In the upcoming months, the solid waste collection company will hold a series of four workshop with residents and businesses to help them select the size of cans and level of service that is right for them. In late January, residents will receive a mailer about what services will be offered, and in March they will be asked to complete their size selections. Trash bin delivery will occur in May.