Brisbane sees revenue solution in San Francisco’s garbage 

click to enlarge Planning: Officials say they will face tough decisions if Recology does not process trash in Brisbane. (Examiner file photo) - PLANNING: OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL FACE TOUGH DECISIONS IF RECOLOGY DOES NOT PROCESS TRASH IN BRISBANE. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • Planning: Officials say they will face tough decisions if Recology does not process trash in Brisbane. (Examiner file photo)
  • Planning: Officials say they will face tough decisions if Recology does not process trash in Brisbane. (Examiner file photo)

Brisbane is floating a business license tax on November’s ballot that will not affect a single company currently in the city, but it could have a major impact on future revenue for the general fund.

The measure is centered on Recology, the company embroiled in a controversial fight to maintain a monopoly over San Francisco’s trash collection.

Brisbane officials are hoping Recology wins its struggle to uphold a 1932 ordinance granting it excl­usive rights to The City’s garbage because it might end up processing some of that refuse in Brisbane.

Recology would need more land to reach its goal of capturing 100 percent of The City’s recycled material, and San Francisco can’t provide the real estate, according to Brisbane Mayor Cy Bologoff.

Making matters more pressing for Brisbane officials is the departure of chemical distributor Van Waters and Rogers, which will take with it $1.5 million to $2 million in tax revenue — some 15 percent of Brisbane’s general fund revenue.

The Peninsula city could easily recoup that much money if Recology came to town, Bologoff said.

“Otherwise we’re going to be faced with making some very tough choices,” Bologoff said.

Whether Recology keeps its exclusive right to San Francisco’s trash will be up to city voters, who will see a ballot measure next June.

“Our staff is guessing it’s all going to work out, but there are a number of steps that have to occur first,” said former City Councilman Ray Miller.

That’s where Brisbane’s business license tax measure comes into play.

“It’s written in such a way that the only firm that would qualify is Recology,” Miller said.

The measure only applies to recyclers hauling more than 100,000 tons of material a year and excludes scavengers and recyclers of stone, soil, rock, concrete, rebar, construction or demolition materials.

Recology worked closely with the city to draft the measure and fully supports it, said Bologoff. Recology’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

The San Mateo County Elections Office said no arguments had been filed against the measure, which needs a simple majority to pass.

nkyriakou@sfexaminer.com

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