Fresno City Council approves garbage privatization

FRESNO, Calif.

After four-and-half hours and some heated discussion, the council approved the first of two votes to sell off home trash pick up.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin touts the privatization plan as a multimillion dollar benefit for the city, which already has a struggling budget.

In new figures released by the city, Fresno is set to receive a $1.5 million signing bonus for going forward with a Mid-Valley contract.

There would also be an estimated annual deposit of about $4 million into the general fund from the private waste company.

Even with the city in a major budget deficit, Fresno's solid waste employees say they can't afford a pay cut or to lose their jobs. But a few city residents say the council has no choice but to take in the franchise fees.

"We don't have any money that's left," Martha Holstad said. "So you guys have to think about that and make the hard decisions."

Marina Magdaleno said, "We're going to continue to fight, it's not going to end today for us, if this goes through."

During the council meeting many asked if they would delay the vote, and others wanted the council to put the issue up for a public vote.

There is still one more step before the council can officially privatize residential solid waste pick up. The council will vote again on this issue at its next meeting on December 13th.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.