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Costa Mesa Trash-Collection Fee to Increase : Government: The small raise--$3.15 a year--will be used to finance November’s Sanitary District election.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Residents will pay $3.15 more a year for trash pickup to pay for the Sanitary District’s November elections.

Three seats are open on the board, and district manager Rob Hamers said it will cost roughly $18,000 to hold the election.

The board, on a 4-0 vote last week, approved increasing the rate to $147.56 a year from $144.41--a 2.18% increase. The district has 250 fewer houses at which to make pickups this year, and the city’s trash-hauling company has boosted its price by less than 1%, two other factors that contributed to a hike in fares, Hamers said.

The increase, which will last until the end of the fiscal year next July, should show up on residents’ property tax bills, Hamers said.

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Florine Reichle, assistant manager of the district, praised the low increase.

“It’s very important to the board to keep the cost down and give the best possible service,” she said.

Reichle, who lives in Orange, said that city raised trash rates an additional $3 a month. “And ours is only $3 a year. You’re talking about nickels and dimes,” she said.

In another matter, the board is trying to cut down on the number of scavengers rummaging through residents’ garbage cans in the city.

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“We’re trying to find ways of keeping people from going through the trash,” Hamers said. “We have to identify them and dissuade them from doing it.”

Articles pointing out that scavenging is illegal have been published in the city’s newsletter, and the board is trying to talk some residents into putting stickers on their bins that would say that.

The scavengers hit the bins in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours, looking for recyclables such as newspapers, aluminum cans and plastics.

“We just set our newspapers aside and the people pick it up--that way they don’t go through the trash,” said Nate Reade, a member of the board.

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One solution, Reade said, is to always put the lid on the trash can.


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