Garbage company Recology to reimburse San Franciscans nearly $100M following city attorney investigation

California
Workers sort through cardboard and mixed paper at Recology's Recylce Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Workers sort through cardboard and mixed paper at Recology’s Recylce Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Waste management company, Recology, will refund San Francisco ratepayers nearly $100 million it overcharged while under the oversight of a former public works director being investigated for corruption, the City Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

As part of a settlement with the city, the company, which has a monopoly on hauling waste and recycling it, will reimburse ratepayers $94.5 million in overcharges and interest fees. It will also make a $7 million settlement payment to the city and lower their residential and commercial waste rates as of April 1, City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.

In 2017, Recology conspired with former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru to hike rates that have remained high over the past four years, Herrera said.

“While ratepayers were taking a hit to their wallets, Mr. Nuru was soliciting money for lavish parties from the company he was supposed to be regulating. His conduct was egregious and shouldn’t and won’t be tolerated,” Herrera said.

Federal prosecutors in November charged former Recology executive Paul Giusti with bribing Nuru with more than $1 million through several non-profit organizations.

Nuru resigned his post last year after being charged with fraud and lying to the FBI. Prosecutors allege he took thousands of dollars in gifts and cash from contractors.

Recology said in a statement it has already implemented measures to improve “its compliance policies, training, and procedures” and named a new CEO and chair of its board of directors.

“We are confident in Recology’s current leadership and have implemented measures to improve the company’s commitment to a culture of service and compliance,” said Christa Steele, chair of the company’s board of directors.

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