AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) – The hefty increases in garbage rates, most recently in Sacramento city and county, are related to the cost of shipping garbage to remote landfills and the depressed market for recycled household waste.
But the city of Auburn is also staring at a hefty increase in garbage rates for a different reason.
A 40-acre landfill site near the Auburn Airport, which was closed nearly 40 years ago, apparently needs ongoing attention.
It was capped with a clay layer to prevent rainwater from transporting contaminants into the water table, but a lot has changed over the years.
“They kind of upped the regulatory requirements on us,” said Auburn City Manager John Donlevy.
Auburn city officials made a commitment to pay for safety measures.
“We’re going to continue doing all the monitoring, all the reporting, all the maintenance of the closed landfill,” Donlevy told FOX40.
But new regulatory standards mean the long-term solutions include recapping the site, which would cost up to $6 million, or digging up the garbage and moving it elsewhere with a bill of $15 million.
Keeping up with state water regulations will not come cheap, a problem Auburn city officials know they will have to solve.
“In this case, it’s consumers. Just being really straight and honest with folks,” Donlevy explained. “Will it increase things for folks? Yup, it will.”
The amount of the rate hike is still up in the air, pending the remedy that is chosen and the type of financing selected.
Some financial help could come from the state, but it’s unlikely and with less than 5,000 business and residential customers in Auburn, the rate hike could be painful.
More studies are required before a course of action and a pricetag is proposed.
Auburn city officials say they will have an estimate by July of next year.