Rate Board Hearings 

On June 16 and 19, the City’s Refuse Collection and Disposal Rate Board* (“Rate Board”) convened to hear and consider objections to the May 12, 2017 Director of Public Works Report and Recommended Order to increase residential refuse collection and disposal rates. This Report and Recommended Order followed the Public Works Director’s 2017 hearings on the Rate Application filed by Recology. To be heard by the Rate Board, objections to the Director’s Report must have been received in writing before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

The Rate Board meetings concluded on Monday, June 19 after hearing objections filed by 13 ratepayers.  The Rate Board unanimously approved the Director’s Recommended Orders and the new rates will go into affect July 1, 2017.

At the meeting, the Rate Board also considered whether there is a continuing need for the Special Reserve Fund under the 1987 Waste Disposal Agreement, and whether to make allocations from that Fund. To view the full public notice, please click here.

The Rate Board convened in San Francisco City Hall, at 1 Dr. Carlton Goodlett Place. The hearings were scheduled as follows:

1st Rate Board Hearing
Friday, June 16
City Hall, Room 416
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

2nd Rate Board Hearing
Monday, June 19
City Hall, Room 416
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Final Rate Board Hearing – CANCELED 
Wednesday, June 21
City Hall, South Light Court
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

*This is a Special Meeting because the Rate Board does not meet at a regularly scheduled time or place.

San Francisco Public Works Director’s Report

Following a series of seven public hearings, and upon reviewing the feedback collected by our team, San Francisco Public Works issued a Director’s Report with rate recommendations. In the original application, Recology requested an effective increase of 16.40% in the first year, 4.98% in the second year, 0.0% increase in the third year, and 0.62% in the fourth year. In addition to scheduled increases, Recology also requested that rates continue to be adjusted for cost-of-living (COLA) based on standard indices each year.

The Director’s Report has made a number of recommendations that would change the proposed rates to an effective increase of 14.42% in the first year, 5.46% in the second year, a decrease of 0.55% in the third year, and 0.79% in the fourth year (before application of a COLA).

We are pleased to share the report with you and highlight some of the recommended changes we feel are most meaningful to residential Rate Payers. For the full 2017 Director’s Report, click here.

Low-Income Discount
In response to Rate Payers’ concerns for seniors on fixed incomes and low-income households, Public Works has recommended raising the income requirements to qualify for a 25% service discount from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Dwelling Unit Fee
Proposed at $20 per unit, Public Works has recommended lowering the fee to $15/unit.

Price per Bin
Public Works has recommended charging $6.26 per 16 gallon black bin and each 32 gallon bin of blue recycling and green compost.

Minimum Service
Public Works recognizes that our lowest waste generators are helping the City move in the right direction towards Zero Waste by 2020. They have recommended a pilot project to test out 16 gallon service for blue recycling and green compost bins.

High Waste Generators
For households that generate more than 32 gallons of trash, there will be a surcharge of $10 per additional 32 gallons as an incentive to reduce trash and increase recycling.
Click here to view the full 2017 Director’s Report.

Unless appealed, the Director’s recommended rates will go into effect July 1, 2017. If the rate is appealed, the Rate Board (comprised of the City Administrator, the Controller, and the General Manager of Utilities) will convene to hear the objections in June. If you would like to file an objection to the rate order, you can do so by following the steps outlined here.

Public Hearings

The Director of Public Works held a series of public hearings on Recology’s application in San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton Goodlett Place. The hearings take took place are as follows:

Technical Workshop
Tuesday, February 28
City Hall, Room 421
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

1st Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, March 8
City Hall, Room 400
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

2nd Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, March 15
City Hall, Room 400
8:00 am – 11:00 am

3rd Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, March 22
City Hall, Room 416
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

4th Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, March 28
City Hall, Room 416
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

5th Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, April 19
City Hall, Room 400
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

6th Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, April 26
City Hall, Room 400
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Final Director’s Hearing
Wednesday, May 3
City Hall, Room 400
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Prop 218 Hearing
Thursday, May 4
City Hall, Room 416
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Your Right to Protest the 2017 Rate Application

The deadline to submit letters of protest under Prop 218 has passed. The deadline was 9:00 am, May 4, 2017.

Under California’s “Right to Vote on Taxes Act” (Proposition 218), any customer/ratepayer may submit a written protest via mail to the Director of Public Works (the Hearing Officer):

Refuse Collection Rate Hearing Officer
c/o San Francisco Public Works
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 348
San Francisco, CA 94102

You may also submit written protests at any of the Director’s hearings. Faxed or e-mail protests will not be accepted.

The Hearing Officer will hold a hearing on the written protests on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 416 at City Hall. Protests must be received by the end of the public hearing to be counted. The Hearing Officer will not accept or count protests received after the close of the hearing, even if postmarked prior to that time.

To be valid, each protest must identify the premises (by street address or refuse collection account number) and include the original signature of the customer submitting the protest.  You can find the guidelines for submission and tabulation of protests on the Public Works website: