Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Up in the Dumps?

It's not the most glamorous issue, but it's an important--and potentially expensive--one.

At the most recent meeting of the Environmental Services Commission, citizen appointees were asked about one inequitable solid waste rate that has direct applicability to many downtown businesses.

First, the facts. Those businesses with front load containers of 1 Cubic Yard (CY) pay $181.80 per month, and those with front load containers of 2 CYs pay $240.75. When compared to those with a 300 Gallon (1.5 CY) Commercial Barrel who pay $107.16, the latter service and rate is out of proportion to the other two.

In a continuing process to move to a cost of service based rate, the City is considering increasing the rate for the 300 Gallon Barrel over the next three years. Its 2007 rate would rise to $128, the 2008 rate would rise to $148 and the 2009 rate would be $169. These steps are proposed to cushion the impact of equalization--for 2007, the 1 CY Container would fall to $173.80 and the 2 CYs Container would decrease to $231.15.

The Barrels are proposed to be continued for those businesses which have access problems. Those businesses that could convert to Containers would be encouraged to do so. All customers will be encouraged to use greater efforts at recycling to further reduce their solid waste fees.

The rate review process is still underway. But, the proposed schedule is for a presentation at a City Council Study Session on November 7th, with City Council action on rate adoption expected at a meeting on November 14th.

For more information, contact the Environmental Services Commission.

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