Thousands of Santa Barbara’s garbage customers will receive
postcards from City Hall in the next week notifying them that they
may be eligible for rebates on green trashcan charges dating back
three years. According to the terms of the city’s 2003 franchise
agreement, both Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) and MarBorg – the
city’s two waste collection companies – are required to provide one
free green can for every household served; there is a $3 per month
fee for each additional green can. Partly thanks to MarBorg – which
reportedly followed the terms of the agreement – it came to light
last year that BFI was wrongly charging an indeterminate number of
customers for their first green can. Efforts to determine the exact
number of customers overcharged have been fruitless because BFI
does not itemize the green, blue, and brown cans that customers
use. Thus, the exact amount owed to each customer is equally
uncertain, but would come to about $110 if a customer had been
consistently overcharged for the past three years. Customers will
be asked to check a box on the postcards and mail them in if they
believe they are entitled to a rebate.


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