BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It appears a county-wide trash collection crisis has been averted, but rates are likely going up due to inflation.

Tuesday, Supervisors set a public hearing for June 28 to set new rates for franchise trash haulers who serve some 80,000 property owners in the county. 

As proposed, rates will increase by 5 percent for fiscal 2022-’23 to offset rising costs of collecting trash and operating solid waste recycling facilities. Recycling surcharges levied in 2018 will remain in place.

Supervisors are up against a hard deadline. The new rates must be on property tax rolls by July 1.

But, the County is just going to make it under the wire. That’s because Public Works hadn’t finished analyzing the data used to calculate trash hauler rate increases before the board took up this issue in late March.

Supervisor Mike Maggard was not pleased when he posed this question: “What’s the worst thing that could happen if we don’t do this today?”

Margo Raison, county counsel replied, “There would be no rates on the tax rolls for 2022-23. There would be no way to pay the haulers and the haulers would not be required to continue services.” 

Maggard said, “I don’t think there’s any excuse for us being at this date without this engineers report. There’s no excuse for this happening today.”

Supervisors found some regulatory wiggle room in the end. If the new trash collection rate increase is approved on June 28th, they will have done so just in the nick of time.