Why Are Gas Prices Falling, But Trash Collection Fuel Surcharges Staying The Same?

It makes sense for a business or a government service to impose a fuel surcharge During a time when fuel prices are rising out of proportion to the rest of the economy. What about when fuel prices are falling, though, as they are right now? A trash pickup customer in Modesto, California dared to ask that question, and got…a pretty reasonable answer, actually.

It’s nice to contact a company or government agency and receive a completely reasonable response. In this case, Kurtis Ming of CBS Sacramento contacted the city on one resident’s behalf, and learned that the fuel surcharge has been on the bill since 2006, and does change. It just doesn’t change as quickly as the diesel fuel prices at the local gas station does, the city’s solid waste manager explained, because the surcharge changes quarterly instead of weekly.

The city’s contractor had always imposed a fuel surcharge, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Modesto began breaking that charge out on residents’ bills. The first fuel surcharge was 86 cents; the highest came along with record fuel prices in 2009. Now it will fall again, since the surcharge is based on the price of diesel fuel over the past quarter.

Call Kurtis: Garbage Company Charges for Fuel Even With Low Gas Prices [CBS Sacramento]