Santa Paula Times

Crown Disposal: Billing leads to some confusion for refuse customers

July 15, 2011
Santa Paula News

Bills have gone out for the city’s new refuse service provider, a change that caused a certain amount of understandable confusion for some customers. 

Crown Disposal took over the service when the city dissolved the enterprise and outsourced the work.

Initial confusion for some customers occurred when they saw they were being charged a higher rate although they had opted for a smaller refuse bin, the one that all rates are based upon. New bins will not be swapped out until about September 1, and that is when new rates will take effect for downsized service. In addition, a new pickup schedule will be initiated that will also allow customers to put out all three bins each week as pickup is needed. 

According to Karen Sandvig of Crown, the new invoices have also brought some comment as they list items separately including the franchise fee paid to the city. In addition, a 50 cents a month charge is noted for a hazardous waste program - revenue that, although collected by Crown, is passed along to the city to fund their state mandated program. 

Sandvig noted, “We believe in full disclosure and not some arbitrary rate” that does not provide cost details.... Besides, it’s new and it’s always tough when it’s new.”

With the new service and provider everyone has a learning curve including Crown. Sandvig said, “People were calling because they wanted a return envelope” for payment, which will now be included in billings.

With the new September 1 schedule will come the regime of residential customers putting out all three carts - trash, yard waste and recyclables - each week as needed. The city had a rotating every other week schedule for the yard waste and recyclables. 

Residential customers have the option of selecting cart size in 35-gallon, 65-gallon and 95-gallon sizes. In addition, they are billed on the refuse/trash bin size only and can select any size recyclable carts they would like at no additional cost.

Crown’s 95-gallon cart fee is $24.69 a month, the medium 65-gallon service, considered standard by Crown, is $20.09 a month, and the extra-small 35-gallon service is $15.49 a month. Those residential customers 62-years or older also receive a 15 percent discount with ID proof of birth date. 

Customers are being encouraged to keep the large 95-gallon sizes for green waste and recyclables, which will not affect their monthly billing even if they opt for the smaller size refuse bins.

Crown Disposal’s local office is located at 134 N. Mill St., and the phone number is 933-0100. Visit the website,