Recology to repay San Franciscans nearly $100M in overcharged garbage fees

San Francisco's City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced a lawsuit and $100 million settlement with Recology, the city's recycling and trash collection company.

The suit alleges Recology's cozy relationship with the former head of San Francisco's Department of Public Works, Mohammed Nuru allowed the company to overcharge customers following a rate increase in 2017. Under the agreement Recology will pay customers back $95 million and has agreed to a $7 million settlement with the city of San Francisco.

City Attorney Herrera said the average customer will be getting back approximately $190 for the overbilling.

The city attorney says Recology and its affiliated companies, Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate Disposal and Recycling regularly donated money and gifts to former Director Nuru. The filing of the charges is the latest development in the ongoing federal investigation into corruption involving the former SFDPW director and others.

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Recology released a statement that read in part, "We value our customers, and making them whole for this mistake is our top priority. Later adding, "As soon as we learned of the mistake, we took immediate action. We are grateful to the City Attorney for helping us reach a resolution that benefits our San Francisco customers. We are reviewing our internal processes and working with the City to ensure an issue like this never reoccurs." 

City Attorney Herrera said the city's lawsuit will not impact any ongoing criminal investigations, and referred questions about those investigations to the US Attorney for the Northern District of California.