The efforts of Berkeley residents to separate their newsprint from glass bottles appears to have a downside.

Berkeley city officials are considering imposing a fee to pick up recyclables, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. So many residents are recycling that they have been able to switch to smaller garbage cans, and the drop in revenue has created a $4 million deficit for the waste collection department. Until now, the city has been offering curbside recycling for free.

The Chronicle reported today that the City Council will consider the fee in May as part of its budget negotiations.

Berkeley is one of the few cities in the Bay Area to have its own waste collection. Perhaps it is time to contract out this service?

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...