Rate increase proposed for city trash collection

Great Falls Public Works is proposing a rate increase for trash collection and disposal services to cover costs and fund capital improvements.

City Commissioners will consider setting a public hearing on Feb. 5.

Staff annually reviews and analyzes the financing needs of the city’s sanitation fund to ensure it has adequate funding for daily operations, capital improvements and emergencies.

Commission OK’s rate increase for trash pickup

Staff is proposing a 5 percent rate for residential and commercial collection rates to cover expenses, which are rising in large part due to increased operations and equipment costs, specifically the replacement and maintenance of the fleet, according to staff.proposed trash rates 2019.PNG

The landfill rate to the city is also increasing by 2.65 percent to $27.35 per ton, so the increased collection rate will also help defray that cost, according to the city.

City staff noticed that the Sanitation Division loses customers to a sanitation competitor due to non-competitive rates for duplexes and triplexes and recommends establishing rates consistent with single family homes per unit.

Staff is also recommending the establishment of two new fees for sanitation:

  • a vacant business rate that would allow the city to offer monthly collection services for $5 per month;
  • a dry run fee for commercial accounts to recoup fees for time and equipment. It incorporates a fee for unsuccessful attempts for container pick-ups or drop-offs due to cars or any other items or materials blocking access to pick-up or drop-off containers, any obstructions out of the city’s control, containers that are too heavy to be removed, locked gates or fences, inaccessible driveways or parking lots, or for any other reasons out of city control which prevent successful pick-ups or drop-offs. The fee covers the driver’s pay, fuel and time for re-routing the driver’s planned schedule.

The last residential increase was in December 2017 and the last commercial rate increase was in October 2015.

If approved, the new rates take effect March 1.