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Garbage Impact Fee

for small residential streets


How much would/should the garbage impact fee generate in new revenue to Orinda if a small residential street, currently designated “private”, became “public” (offered public access and was maintained with public funds)?


The “impact” on a street by a garbage truck is relative to the weight of the vehicle.  We don’t know what the weight is of the trucks that serve Orinda but in the latest (December 2019) Road and Drainage Repairs Plan, a chart (Attachment 11) shows a garbage truck having the same impact as 9,000 passenger cars.


90 percent of “private” streets are small residential cul-de-sacs with an average of eight homes on them.  Council Member (and Transportation Engineer) Dennis Fay says that five is a reasonable estimate of daily car trips (round trips) per household.  Over the course of a week, the eight homes would generate a total of 280 round trips.  Since some homes are at the beginning of the street and some at the end, the average trip length could only be half the length of the street, reducing the weekly total of full length trips to 140. But, for the sake of conservatism, assume the homes are concentrated more at the end, so assume 200 weekly full-length car trips.


Compare this to the usage by garbage/recycle trucks. Three trucks; one full length trip per week; each equivalent to 9,000 car trips; 27,000 equivalent car trips; 99.26% of the total impact.


If the garbage impact fee truly reflected the impact of the garbage trucks on a street, it would compensate the city for 99.26% of the cost to maintain these small residential cul-de-sacs, making the net expense to the city for adopting these streets as public streets virtually nothing. It would be up to the city council and city staff to get the solid waste authority to appropriately charge Republic Services the cost of garbage truck impact. 


The fact that the extra cost to the garbage company would then be passed on to all Orinda rate payers is justifiable as all tax payers, on public and “private” roads, are supporting the Essential Services sales tax and the road bond (used for deferred maintenance on public residential streets) tax.

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