TOT is considered a “commercial client” of Waste Management. This commercial status allows TOT residents to receive certain services without a fee. These services include: unlimited, oversized pick-ups throughout the year, the Christmas tree bin and the green waste bin in the spring, and free residential recycling barrels. When Waste Management announced their rate increase to $38 for all Topanga residents, one benefit of TOT’s commercial status allowed us to delay the $38 increase until 2020.
In April 2019, Waste Management notified TOT of the increases to take effect in June 2019. The increased fee for the individual resident barrels was approximately $14.14 and $8.37 for the Common Area bins. The fees for individual resident’s barrels are billed to the individual homeowner each month and paid directly to the Association. The fees for the Common Area bins are paid out of the monthly assessment fee ($640). We have to forecast as best we can for the following year’s budget.
At the beginning of 2019, individual residents were billed $13.46 for their barrels and $8.00 for the Common Area bins. From January 1, 2019 to June 1, 2019, TOT paid Waste Management $4737.49 a month (except for those months where we were fined). As a result of the increases effective June 2019, TOT paid Waste Management $4975.85 from June 2019 through December 2019. This increased the total amount paid by the homeowner to $22.51 per month (for both individual barrels and common area bins). During this time, TOT paid more in some months as fines were charged. TOT did not pass on the increases or fines to the residents for the balance of 2019.
At the time the Board approved the TOT 2020 budget in the fall of 2019, we understood that from January 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020, Waste Management would continue to charge TOT $4975.85. Beginning June 1, 2020, we understood that the individual residential barrel cost would increase to $38.00 and that the Common Area bins might be increased to at least $8.57.
Currently, Waste Management is reviewing our contract. While we anticipate that on June 1, 2020, the individual residential barrel cost will be increased to at least $38.00 per month and the Common Area bins may be increased to at least $8.57 per month, we will have more complete information when their review is complete.