Kern Co. residents protest fees for organic waste collection

The protests put the county in a sticky situation, since state law requires the recycling of organic waste.

Some Kern County property owners are protesting a new fee to cover the cost for mandatory residential trash collection. 

Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors will address the fee plan as the county aims to be in compliance with Senate Bill 1383. 


The backstory: SB 1383, signed into law in 2016, mandates the recycling of organics to reduce landfill emissions. 

  • Local governments could face up to $3.65 million in fines annually if they don’t comply. 

The big picture: Six of Kern County’s 14 universal collection areas are protesting the fee on the grounds of Proposition 218, which requires local governments to give property owners a 45-day protest period before voting on items such as rate increases. 

  • Rate increases can be blocked if a majority of property owners formally protest. 
  • Kern County is looking at providing three garbage bins per household, which would come with annual fees added to property tax bills. 
  • According to the Bakersfield Californian, one of the fee proposals would be nearly $560 to property tax bills for Tehachapi area residents. 
  • The Kern County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing for all 14 universal collection areas in the county. 
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