Long Beach, Calif. – High gas prices, rising inflation, and increased prices of goods and services are things that have been affecting every single American in the past few months, and this trend is expected to continue in the upcoming months.
Just when many parents are having a hard time buying school supplies for their children at the beginning of the school year, the city of Long Beach on August 23 will discuss whether the city officials will accept a proposal that will increase solid waste and recycling rates, something that will have a negative impact on every Long Beach resident.
The prices of these two utilities were last changed and increased in 2019, but the City Council will discuss on Tuesday if yet another increase is going to be accepted.
Officials with the Department of Public Works explain that the operational costs have skyrocketed, mostly due to the increased gas prices. While only a slight increase is expected for now, officials believe that these two services will become more and more expensive in the upcoming years.
“Solid waste collection costs have increased,” a staff report said, and “the city’s rates have not generated sufficient revenue to cover the costs for service.”
If the proposal is approved on Tuesday, Long Beach residents will receive higher bills for $5.43 every month starting September 1, but the bills will be even higher on January 1 next year when local residents should expect another $6.45 per month increase for just these two services.
Although every single dollar counts when everything is getting more expensive and an increasing number of Americans are having financial difficulties, officials with the Department of Public Works claim that the increase is essential for the department because the department’s refuse and recycling fund will likely be exhausted by the mid-fiscal year 2023 if current prices remain the same. In the same report, the department said that since 2012, the fund has decreased by over $15 million, and the main reason for this is the increased operational costs.
If the proposal is approved, nearly $4 million is expected to be collected during the 2023 fiscal year, while more than $6.5 million is expected to be collected the year after.
Another problem for the city of Long Beach and the Department of Public Works is Senate Bill 1383 — which requires cities to divert organic waste, like food scraps, from landfills. This results in yet another cost for the department, but officials believe that increasing the monthly price will help them buy new equipment and continue collecting and recycling waste as expected.