Recology to Reimburse San Francisco Customers Nearly $ 100 Million in Surcharged Fees

If you’re a Recology customer in San Francisco, you’ll soon see a hefty refund check.

The trash company agreed Thursday to return $ 94.5 million in overcharged fees and interest, city attorney Dennis Herrera announced. Additionally, Recology must also reduce residential and commercial rates effective April 1, which will save customers $ 6.1 million from April to June. The settlement comes on the heels of an investigation by Herrera’s office that alleges Recology inflated its rates for years.

The city attorney said most homes will recover about $ 190.

The problems date back to the tenure of disgraced former Public Works chief Mohammed Nuru, who was arrested in January 2020 on a series of corruption and bribery charges, trapping multiple city agencies and partners.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Nuru took bribes from Recology in exchange for allowing them to keep their rates overly inflated. Four months ago, former Recology executive Paul Giusti was also arrested for his alleged role in the scandal; Prosecutors say Giusti paid more than $ 1 million in bribes to Nuru, whose role in the city included the right to approve garbage collection fees.

“With this legal action, we are completing San Francisco taxpayers and sending a clear message that privacy with regulators will not be tolerated,” Herrera said in a statement. “Mohammed Nuru may have had his challenges keeping the streets clean, but he clearly excelled at cronyism, illicit funding and indifferent oversight. While taxpayers were taking a hit on their wallets, Nuru was requesting money for lavish parties from the company it was supposed to regulate. It is outrageous “.

In October, an investigation by Mission Local found that San Francisco customers’ garbage fees increased at the same time that Recology began donating to a nonprofit controlled by Nuru.

Recology has changed its name over the decades, but since the 1930s the company has had a monopoly on waste collection in San Francisco.

“The ramifications of our work with the City Attorney in this investigation are not abstract – there are real financial consequences for San Francisco residents,” said City Comptroller Ben Rosenfield in a statement. they were charged. “

For more information on the settlement, see the press release from the city attorney’s office here.

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