OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --Oakland residents are talking about a plan to increase the cost of garbage pick-up by 50 percent. The hike means the average Oakland family will have to pay about $44 a month. The current average is just under $30 a month. City officials are meeting at Oakland City Hall about this issue tonight.
Members of a rival garbage company, California Waste Solutions, showed up and say they didn't have a chance to bid on that contract that Waste Management now holds for the city. They plan to slam any plan that would increase rates.
The company that picks up Oakland's trash now, Waste Management of Alameda County, said in their proposal to the city, they're uniquely qualified to do the job.
"Well everything else has gone up and I imagine they have to keep their bills paid just like we do," Laurel District resident Mary Jones said.
Waste Management says it needs to raise rates when the current contract expires next June, to reflect the true cost of doing business in 2015. The current rates were set back in 2005. The proposed rate increase for a single family, 32 gallon cart today, is $29.30. The proposed rate would take that cost to $43.93. Laurel District resident Christine Kaiser said before she's asked to shell out more cash, she wants to the company's commitment to being green.
"What are they doing with the green? How are they disposing the green? And there are a lot of other issues I think, regarding that," Kaiser said.
Waste Management tells ABC7 News that part of the new agreement would include outreach to property owners to educate them about zero waste goals, the creation of approximately 70-80 new jobs and partnering with the city's public works agency to address illegal dumping. Still, others say they would like more options.
"I would imagine if you're the only supplier of a computer, you can put any price at it. I'm in sales, so I know that is a condition," Redwood Heights resident Ali Gahrahmat said.
Whatever the relationship waste management has had with the city to date, does not guarantee this proposal will get approved.
"I think that Waste Management and the City of Oakland need to be able to tell the residents tonight what is different," Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo said.
City leaders say they have tough questions for the waste company, supplied to them by their constituents who will, come election time, hold their council members accountable.