CONFLICT: Richard Valle chatting with voters during his run for Alameda County Supervisor in 2012. But do his duties as supervisor today conflict with his local recycling company? PHOTO/Matt Santos

Garbage rates in Hayward may increase by 10 percent next March. Negotiations between the city and Waste Management are ongoing, but the increase could raise rates up over $30 a month for a single 32-gallon garbage cart, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Rates would again rise by three percent in 2016 and 2017, but also contain new services for residents.

Then there is this odd passage:

Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle asked the City Council in December to include language in the contract to increase the wages of recycling sorters. Valle is head of Tri-CED Community Recycling, which subcontracts with Waste Management to handle Hayward’s curbside recycling.

It seems Valle’s non-profit recycling company, based in Union City, cannot give its own employees a raise without the rate increase, he told the paper.

In fact, Valle’s decision to maintain his position at the recycling company in addition to his duties as District 2 county supervisor turned some heads two years ago simply because the job is notorious for burning out some officials and, not to mention, appearing to be inherently riddled with conflicts of interest.

Note the city with the highest garbage rates in the area is Union City, which Valle represents and once served as its city council member, a fact many of his opponents often recite. Valle also represents Hayward on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

A public hearing on the Hayward garbage rate increase is scheduled for the Jan. 20 meeting.