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How much will fines be for waste sorting violations?

File photo, Republic Services truck. // CH Sentinel

By Mike Hazlip—
After a year of community outreach that included neighborhood meetings and mailers, Republic Services is set to begin charging fines for improperly sorted waste bins — prompting questions about how high fines will be.

Republic Services, which contracts with the City of Citrus Heights for waste collection, said in an email response to The Sentinel on Tuesday that the “contamination surcharge” for repeat violations will be $22.77.

“Senate Bill 1383 requires that municipalities and haulers have an enforcement mechanism to ensure the right materials are placed in the correct container, as such, the current penalty for repeat infractions is $22.77,” the company said.

The organics recycling program, initiated with the passage of SB 1383 by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016, aims to reduce methane emissions by reducing the amount of organic waste in landfills. The law requires jurisdictions to provide weekly organic waste collection services, or face hefty penalties.

Republic Services says employees have been inspecting carts since the policy in Citrus Heights went into effect July 2022. Carts found to have a significant amount of contamination are tagged with an educational flyer.

Residents can find information on Republic Services’ website, or in mailers including the 2023 Customer Service Guide Calendar, the company said.

A Sentinel staff review of the company’s website showed waste disposal guides at the bottom of the recycling guide page in multiple languages. Other information is available from the CalRecycle website.

A company media spokesperson said Republic Services is still assessing the effectiveness of the outreach program.

Related: Waste: Residents question what goes in which bin, with fines coming soon

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