Recology Announces Correction to Mistake in San Francisco Rates 

Recology reached a settlement with the San Francisco City Attorney that will correct a mistake in the 2017 San Francisco rate calculation. Please find a link to our press release here.

We are committed to making our customers whole and providing timely updates as more information becomes available.

        • Effective April 1, 2021, Recology will reduce rates by 6.796% for all affected San Francisco customers to correct the mistake.
        • Additionally, subject to the approval of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Recology will issue payments to current and former customers affected by the mistake:
          – Payments to current customers will be made by September 1, 2021.
          – Payments to former customers will be made on a rolling basis. The company will work diligently to reach all former customers and will report to the City on a monthly basis as to all paid and unpaid balances.

          • In total, Recology will pay current and former San Francisco customers $86.6 million, plus interest, in order to account for the miscalculated rates that have been in effect since July 1, 2017.

We will provide information about the timing and amount of payments as we receive it.

The above is applicable to affected San Francisco customers only.


FAQs for Recology San Francisco Customers

Recology announced that it is correcting a mistake in the 2017 rate calculation for certain of its San Francisco customers. What was the mistake exactly?

      • As we explained in our press release, there was a mistake in the spreadsheet supporting our 2017 rate application. It did not accurately account for certain revenue that is passed on to the City in calculating revenues at current rates.
      • This resulted in a rate increase that was higher than necessary – to cover the difference between revenue at current rates (which was incorrectly calculated, due to the inadvertent omission) and projected net revenue requirements.
      • This mistake was not discovered during the 2017 ratemaking process by any of the many entities involved in the process, which included Recology, the City Attorney’s Office, multiple City agencies, including the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFPW), and independent consultants retained by SFPW.
      • Recology’s investigation has not identified any evidence indicating that the mistake was intentional.

What is Recology doing to make it right?

    • After the then current senior management and the Board learned of the mistake in November 2020, Recology leadership promptly brought the issue to the City Attorney’s Office.
    • To make our San Francisco customers whole, we reached an agreement with the City Attorney’s Office.
    • Effective April 1, 2021, Recology will reduce rates by 6.796% for all affected San Francisco customers to correct the mistake.
    • Additionally, subject to the approval of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Recology will issue payments to current and former customers affected by the mistake:
      – Payments to current customers will be made by September 1, 2021.
      – Payments to former customers will be made on a rolling basis. The company will work diligently to reach all former customers and will report to the City on a monthly basis as to all paid and unpaid balances.

      • In total, Recology will pay current and former San Francisco customers $86.6 million, plus interest, in order to account for the miscalculated rates that have been in effect since July 1, 2017.
      • We are also reviewing our internal processes and working with the City to ensure an issue like this never reoccurs.

What does this mean for rates going forward?

  • Effective April 1, 2021, Recology will reduce rates by 6.796% for all affected San Francisco customers to correct the mistake.

Who will be eligible to receive payments?

  • Residential and commercial customers who had valid accounts from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021, excluding any customers not subject to the uniform published rates during that period.

When will current customers be repaid?

  • Subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors, we will issue payments by September 1, 2021 to current customers.
  • How much will customers receive?

    Actual payments will vary based on a number of factors, including the service level and customer type.  Customers will be notified of their payment amounts in the coming months.

Will you repay former customers who have since left the city? When?

Yes. We will work diligently to reach all former customers and enable them to collect payments, on a rolling basis.

If you are unable to locate former customers, what will happen to the payments for those customers?

    • We will work diligently to reach all former customers and enable them to collect payments.
    • Interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances.
    • By July 1, 2022, any portion of the $86.6 million that has not been paid directly to current and former San Francisco customers will be placed in an interest-bearing account to be used to offset any future rate increases.

What about renters whose landlords passed through Recology bills for payment?

  • We will be compensating existing and former customers who had valid accounts from July 1, 2017 to the present. Arrangements between landlords and renters vary, and we do not know how landlords will distribute the restitution amounts.

What if I have additional questions?

We will provide future updates on this website. In the meantime, please send any questions to SFratepayer@recology.com.