The column Recalls and Recology, Feb. 6, 2022, includes factually incorrect and misleading information.
It says, “In 2020, San Franciscans were paying $59.70 per garbage bin each month…”.
Please know, the monthly charge listed for San Francisco, in the sentence above referencing residential rates, is incorrect.
Also, the phrasing “per garbage bin each month” is incorrect.
My neighbor, a San Francisco resident, read the column this morning and said, “This article is wrong. I’m not paying $179 a month for garbage service” ($59.70 per bin x 3 bins = $179.10).
Here are the correct numbers. In 2020, the rate for basic residential service in San Francisco totaled $43.94 per month. That rate included weekly collection of all three bins.
Today, basic residential service, including weekly collection of all three bins, in San Francisco costs $43.04 per month.
1. San Francisco customers receive itemized bills for collection service;
2. Monthly rates charged are posted on the City’s website;
3. Rates can be viewed online by visiting the Rate Calculator on Recology’s website;
Moreover, the author inaccurately describes how a 2017 rate mistake was discovered and addressed. He claims:
“In March 2021, after City Controller Ben Rosenfield, the unsung ratepayer hero, audited Recology and informed the city attorney of Recology’s lies to the Rate Board by inflating costs and ignoring anticipated revenues in order to obtain a 14.4% rate increase in 2017, a 5% increase in 2020 and another 1% in 2021 (without its disregard of revenue, the rate increase would have been 7% in 2017), Recology surrendered, reimbursing residents some $94.5 million.”
This description is just flatly untrue.
The City Controller did not conduct an audit of Recology in March 2021. In fact, Recology had already entered into a settlement agreement with the City Attorney by March of 2021, to address a rate mistake Recology discovered and reported to the city attorney in December of 2020. The rate mistake resulted from a miscalculation of revenues that are passed on to the city, a mistake that was missed during the rate-setting process by multiple city agencies and the city’s outside consultants. Recology has since paid out nearly $100 million to San Francisco customers affected by the mistake.
Community newspapers are an important resource. We ask respectfully, could you please remove or correct, as soon as possible, the incorrect reference to rates ($59.70), the incorrect assertion that this false rate applies to each bin, and the totally inaccurate description of the rate mistake?
Thank you very much,
Media relations manager
Categories: letter to the editor