Once again EDCO Disposal Corporation is asking the Imperial Beach City Council to increase your service rate – i.e. make residents pay more each month for waste collection.

EDCO is part of Burrtec Waste Management based in Fontana, and is the largest privately held solid waste company in California. Originally started in 1955, EDCO/Burrtec is still owned and operated by the Burr family in La Mesa. Burrtec has revenues in the hundreds of millions per year from its large Southern California operations. 

The Burr family and Burrtec management are known to develop close relationships with politicians.

The Burrs and their companies also have excellent public relations departments and are keen to stress their environmental credentials. They are known for their community involvement and support of various organizations across San Diego. Ed and Sandy Burr are very popular in La Mesa, particularly after making a $5 million donation to Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Currently EDCO has a monopoly on trash/waste collection in Imperial Beach. EDCO seems to get annual increases for “service fees” from the City in a non-competitive process. Several years ago San Bernadino County broke its 12 year relationship with Burrtec to operate its landfills after putting the program out for competitive bid.

This year EDCO is asking the City Council to approve “future annual inflationary adjustments to the maximum allowable…fees charged by EDCO beginning July 1, 2020 through July 1, 2024.”

Every household and apartment dweller can expect to get annual cost increases for waste removal for the next five years and likely every year into the future as EDCO continues to grow its revenue stream while increasing the wealth of the Burr family.

Would it not be better for the City Council to put the waste management franchise agreement out for competitive bid? San Bernadino County went with Athens Services; there are also companies such as Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services (handles Chula Vista), or perhaps the City of San Diego. There are alternatives to EDCO.

Competition is good and can result in reduced costs to the rate payers. Make your thoughts known to the City Council by sending written comments to the City Clerk or, better yet, going to the City Council meeting on Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. and expressing your opinion. It’s your money.

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