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Monday, March 27, 2023

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Q&A: Is there an exemption to fee hike for residents who compost?


Sentinel staff report–
With a significant fee hike and weekly organics waste recycling program in Citrus Heights slated to go into effect in July, some residents are wondering if those who already compost their food scraps will be able to opt out.

According to a frequently asked questions section about the program posted on the city’s website, exemptions are not available.

“Under SB 1383, we are unfortunately not able to offer exemptions to customers who compost their food waste or who generate minimal food waste,” the city says online. “However, Republic Services will provide free kitchen compost pails to customers before the launch of the new organics collection services, along with compost seminars and providing information about composting.”

Senate Bill 1383, which was signed into law in 2016, established statewide methane emissions reduction targets, including a 50% reduction in disposal of organic waste by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025, compared with the benchmark year of 2014. The law’s residential component went into effect in January of this year, but the program won’t go into effect until July for Citrus Heights residents.

The city says compliance with the law comes with an added cost of about $2 million, which is being passed along to customers in the form of a rate increase. The typical household will see a fee increase of about 26% on their bill, according to a Jan. 27 staff report to the City Council.

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