City leaders approved on Tuesday night an agreement with Oakland’s trash and compost service provider to reduce compost rates for businesses and restore a discount program for low-income seniors.
In July, the city launched “Oakland Recycles,” a new zero waste program of trash, compost and recycling services with a goal to divert all compostable and recyclable material away from landfills.
Under the new program, commercial composting service rates charged by Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. (WMAC) were “upside down” – higher, in most cases, than the comparable rates for trash service, creating a disincentive for businesses to compost. The City met with WMAC officials to address those issues.
With Tuesday’s agreement, WMAC will reduce commercial composting rates to 30 percent below the corresponding trash rates, effective Oct. 1 until July 2016. Starting in July 2016, composting rates will be set at 25 percent below trash rates.
In addition, WMAC committed to funding a low-income senior discount program that had sunsetted in July. The program had provided a 12.5 percent discount to about 1,500 low-income senior customers at an annual cost of approximately $80,000 per year.
Recently, the city set aside $100,000 to restore that discount program for one year. WMAC’s commitment is to fund that program thereafter, supported by Waste Management’s charitable fund. For more information, businesses with questions about their services or bills should call WMAC at (510) 613-8700. Residents should call (510) 613-8710.
If a customer has contacted WMAC and needs additional assistance, they can contact the City’s Recycling Hotline at (510) 238-SAVE (7283) or [email protected]
More information about Oakland Recycles is available online at www.OaklandRecycles.com.