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Herrera’s public integrity investigation saves SF ratepayers $100M in excessive garbage fees

City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Recology agrees to immediately lower rates and to reimburse customers for past refuse collection overcharges

SAN FRANCISCO (March 4, 2021) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced today that Recology San Francisco, the contractor for the City’s waste and recycling collection, will lower rates and reimburse ratepayers for overcharges that were unearthed as part of a wide-ranging investigation into public corruption tied to former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and others. The investigation is part of an overarching public integrity review with City Controller Ben Rosenfield.

The total savings to ratepayers from today’s agreement is more than $100 million and covers a four-year rate period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021.

Recology will reimburse ratepayers $94.5 million in overcharges and interest as part of a negotiated settlement with the City Attorney’s Office. Under the settlement, Recology will also lower residential and commercial refuse rates starting on April 1, 2021, which will save ratepayers $6.1 million from April 2021 through June 2021. Together, this is more than $100 million in direct benefits to San Francisco refuse ratepayers. In addition, Recology will make a $7 million settlement payment to the City under the California Unfair Competition Law and the San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.

“With this legal action, we are making San Francisco ratepayers whole and sending a clear message that cozying up to regulators won’t be tolerated,” Herrera said. “Mohammed Nuru may have had his challenges keeping the streets clean, but he clearly excelled at cronyism, slush funds, and indifferent oversight. While ratepayers were taking a hit to their wallets, Mr. Nuru was soliciting money for lavish parties from the company he was supposed to be regulating. It’s outrageous. They say a fish rots from the head. Well, the head of Public Works was Mr. Nuru. He has disgraced all of the dedicated public servants at Public Works who go above and beyond every day for the people of San Francisco.” [Read more]

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