Citing Illegal Dumping, Elk Grove to Modify Delinquent Garbage Fee Collection Techniques

illegal dumping in Elk Grove California
March 23, 2016 |

In an acknowledgement that some actions can result in negative unintended consequences, the Elk Grove City Council will consider modifying how it collects on delinquent trash services accounts at tonight's meeting.

According to a staff report on the matter, the city will consider modifying its so-called Turn Off Trash method of collecting on delinquent accounts. Under that program, which was adopted in 2010, the city would no longer place liens and levies on delinquent accounts, rather it would stop collection of garbage from recalcitrant customers.  

Since implementation, the staff report said those residents whose garbage collection services were cut-off under the program continued to generate solid waste. Even though the City Council reinstated liens and levies in 2011 as a collection technique, the city continues to have anywhere from 300 to 1,000 accounts covered under the Turn Off Trash program.

As a result the staff report says, "This has led to problems such as increased illegal dumping, complaints of one neighbor using another neighbor’s garbage cans, and occasional health hazards due to over accumulation of waste in the homes and yards of suspended residents."

To mitigate these unintended consequences, staff has recommended "to make the language more permissive, allowing for the suspension of trash service to be used as a collection measure if necessary, but will no longer be required. The City’s use of the lien and levy process as the City’s primary collection method has demonstrated that mandatory Turn Off Trash program results in minimal benefits and increased customer frustrations. The routine use of the Turn Off Trash program will be suspended. Instead, the City will rely on the lien and levy program semi-annually with occasional use of the Turn Off Trash program as appropriate to ensure the highest collection of delinquent charges."

Although the matter will be heard as a regular agenda item, it is unlikely to face city council opposition. Tonight's meeting starts at 6 p.m.     

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