Recology faces new overbilling probe after $95 million payout, tied to SF city hall corruption

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Trash-hauling giant Recology has already admitted to overcharging San Francisco residents by nearly $95 million.

Now there's a new investigation over more over-billing.

This time, it's being tied to the city hall corruption scandal.

Michael Barba, senior reporter at The San Francisco Standard spoke to ABC7's Dion Lim on Thursday's "Getting Answers'."

What happened last March 2021?

"Well, last March, what happened is Recology admitted to overcharging San Francisco customers something like $95 million in excessive rates for garbage collection," said Barba told Lim.

How much alleged overbilling is in this case this time around?

"So, we don't quite know yet. What we do know and what we learned this week is that the controller's office is investigating additional potential over billing. And one supervisor, at least Aaron Peskin, is convinced that it could be as much as another 100 million dollars," said Barba.

"But there's still an investigation. That's ongoing. And the comptroller's office is actually requested documentation from Recology going as far back as 2016."

Has Recology said anything about this most latest incident?

"Yeah, they have. I mean, what they've said is that they haven't seen an analysis at this point that shows there's been any additional overcharging," he said.

"But you know, what, what I think this is shown is that there are some problems with how the city is regulating how garbage rates are being set. And so Recology has basically said it's committed to some but not all of the reforms to that process that had been recommended by the city."

Barba said with the $95 million overcharging, Recology has at least agreed to start giving consumers back money as part of a settlement.

How is this connected to the city hall corruption scandal?

"The city has basically proposed some reforms in response to issues that were exposed by the corruption scandal. And so now there's several proposals on the table for how the city can move forward," Barba said.

You can watch the full interview above

See the San Francisco Standard's other original reporting here.

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