Pacifica ready to dump its trash hauler

Posted by
Fri, June 12, 2009

Pacifica is considering dropping its contract in 2012 with Coastside Scavenger which owes the city up to $450,000 in fees, reports the County Times.  Coastside shares ownership and facilities with Seacoast Disposal, which collects trash in the Montara Water and Sanitary District.

According to the city’s calculation, Coastside Scavenger Co. — along with its sister trash hauler, Sea Coast Disposal — owes the city up to $450,000 in monthly franchise fees, late fees and other fees dating back to August 2008. The city has sent a series of letters to Coastside Scavenger’s president and owner, Louis Picardo, in recent weeks with demands including payment of $648,341 in outstanding fees and immediate submittal of audited financial statements from the company, for which two years were overdue.  ...

Pacifica residents pay the highest rates for garbage collection in San Mateo County. Coastside Scavenger has raised its rates almost every year since 2000, and the City Council approved another rate increase of 7.8 percent in 2007 (the company had asked for a 12 percent increase). At the time of the audit, many city officials admitted they had approved the rate increases without conducting a thorough financial review. ...

Coastside Scavenger declared a net loss of $325,000 for the fiscal year ending July 2008. It declared $847,249 in franchise fee expenses owed to the city. It has borrowed substantial sums of money from its employees and from its "stockholder," presumably the company owner, Picardo. And it is waiting for payment of more than $2.5 million by Sea Coast Disposal, with which it shares a recycling yard and maintenance crew. Sea Coast never submits its financials to the city.