Caught with their hands in the proverbial trash can the local trash collection company Recology is calling this four year consumer ripoff an “inadvertent mistake.” Really????!!!!
Garbage collection rates are high in San Francisco.
Residential customers pay on average $10 weekly. There is little oversight as Recology is granted rate increases yearly with little, if any, debate and public input.
Now, in part the result of the Federal indictments of City officials and private contractors, a ripped off public will receive a degree of restitution.
San Francisco, beneath the veneer of cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf and tourism is at its core a very venal mean spirited place. The nearly $100,000,000 coming to the rate paying public is small consolation.
Excerpted from The San Francisco Chronicle 3.4.2021
San Franciscans will recoup nearly $100 million in overpaid trash-collection fees after a probe by the City Attorney’s Office detailed how the waste management company Recology improperly hiked its prices over the last four years, City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Thursday.
In a statement, Recology officials characterized the overcharging as an inadvertent mistake, and said they immediately reported it to the City Attorney’s Office.
The settlement between the city and Recology represents the latest twist in the sprawling City Hall corruption saga centered around former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, other city officials, contractors and nonprofit groups.
Nuru played a key role in the rate-setting process for Recology. The results of Herrera’s investigation and a separate federal probe allege that Nuru accepted bribes from Recology in exchange for allowing the company to inflate its rates. A former Recology executive was fired and arrested in November in light of those allegations.
Officials said that in addition to the alleged bribes, Recology failed to account for revenue it would receive from ratepayers during its application for a rate increase in 2017. These underreported funds, officials said, amounted to a rate increase of 14% instead of the 7% Recology should have received.
The company serves about 160,000 customers in San Francisco.
“With this legal action, we are making San Francisco ratepayers whole and sending a clear message that cozying up to regulators won’t be tolerated,” Herrera said in a statement. “Mohammed Nuru may have had his challenges keeping the streets clean, but he clearly excelled at cronyism, slush funds, and indifferent oversight.”
Recology Chief Executive Officer Sal Coniglio said in a statement that the company is “grateful to the City Attorney for helping us reach a resolution that benefits our San Francisco customers. We are reviewing our internal processes and working with the City to ensure an issue like this never reoccurs.”
The amount each ratepayer will be refunded will depend on how long they’ve been a Recology customer and the type of service purchased. Both current and former customers are eligible for reimbursement, and current customers are required to receive their refund by Sept. 1, Herrera said.