China has changed its rules concerning what kind of recycled materials it will accept. The effect will be felt by Dublin residents.

Dubliners will pay higher garbage collection rates to offset the cost of the collapse of a market taking American plastic waste. The City Council voted unanimously at its June 18 meeting to raise the garbage collection rates by 10%, effective July 1.

Before China started banning 20 different types of material, and reduced the allowable amount of contamination of them from other sources, the nation was America’s biggest customer for disposing of plastics.

Recycling programs in America generated enough revenue in that market to offset the cost of their operations. However, after China raised its standards for plastic reclamation, the picture changed radically. In 2017, Dublin’s garbage hauler, Amador Valley Industries (AVI), notified the city that the disposal site it uses no longer would pay for recycling.

Instead, AVI would have to pay a fee of $150 a ton to dispose of the materials. By late 2018, AVI invoked the “extraordinary adjustment” clause in its contract with the city, and requested the rate raise. The hauler said that the imposition of the fee met the unforeseen circumstances criteria that the extraordinary adjustment clause was meant to cover.

Single family home dwellers are charged rates on property tax bills twice annually. Non-residential customers are billed separately for the garbage collection service. Non-residential customers include businesses, private schools, and multi-family residential complexes.

Both groups’ rates will rise by 10%. That will increase the minimum size 32-gallon can residential rate from $26.09 to $28.82 per month. The 32-gallon commercial rate will go from $29.59 to $32.69. The two larger sizes for residential and non-residential categories will also increase by 10%.