Turlock to raise garbage rates for residents

Mandates from Sacramento governing garbage and recycling collection have driven up the cost of that weekly trash pick-up, city officials said.

Turlock’s garbage collection rates are increasing in order to keep up with various state mandates that have increased operating costs for Turlock Scavenger, the city’s contracted waste hauler. 

Tuesday evening, the Turlock City Council approved an ordinance to increase garbage collection rates by a maximum of five percent, starting April 1, along with a new standardized rate floor. 


However, the council also directed the city manager to bring an item back before April 1 to reduce the new rates below the set maximum. 

The ordinance passed 3-2, with councilmembers Nicole Larson and Andrew Nosrati dissenting. 

Turlock Scavenger has been the city’s garbage collector since 1947 and has been charging rates that were well below the regional average, according to the council’s staff report. 

“Unfortunately, the city and Turlock Scavenger do not have complete control over the rates due to factors that are out of their span of control, such as fuel, insurance, disposal fees, and unfunded state mandates,” the staff report reads. 

Such state mandates include CalRecycle requiring programs to be developed and implemented that help divert organic waste from landfills, as well as Senate Bill 1383, which aims to reduce climate pollutants, methane emissions and organic waste in landfills. 

That led to Turlock Scavenger asking the city to conduct a rate study in 2019. 

The study found that many other cities in the region increased rates from 2018-2020 and that Turlock Scavenger needed higher rates in order to continue operating at the city’s behest. 

With Turlock residents currently using trash bins that are 32 gallons, 64 gallons and 95 gallons, the ordinance is standardizing the size to the 95-gallon cart, which allows Turlock Scavenger to operate more efficiently. 

The current trash collection rates are as follows for the trash bin size: 

  • 32-Gallon: $27.40
  • 64-Gallon: $36.20 
  • 95-Gallon: $41.70 

With all residents moving to the 95-gallon cart, the rates will start at $33.01 in 2022 before increasing each year to reach $40.12 by 2026. 

Since around 15,000 homes are currently using the 32-gallon bin – compared to the 4,300 that have upgraded to the larger sizes – the vast majority of Turlock homes will see their baseline rates increase to fit with the new standard.  

Come 2025-2026, the city will also implement a refuse rate index, which will see the rates also increase by a maximum of five percent. 

Per the council’s direction, the city will look at reducing that total before the new rates are implemented on April 1. 

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