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Council tables trash fee proposal


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POSTED: Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A resolution urging the city administration to study the viability of a “;pay as you throw”; fee system for garbage collection has been tabled by the City Council for now.

The fee system proposes to charge residents for trash collection services based on the amount of garbage disposed of each week. Advocates say it encourages recycling.

The Council's public infrastructure committee deferred a decision on the resolution. Councilman Duke Bainum, the committee's chairman, noted that a broader waste-management study already is being proposed in the city's budget.

“;We're early in the game,”; Bainum said. “;If we can't work out that language that is satisfactory in the budget item, then I'll be happy to revisit this.”;

He said the study proposed in the budget aims to see how much it costs the city to collect trash and what it would cost for households if a “;pay as you throw”; system were adopted.

Tim Steinberger, city director of environmental services, said such systems have been adopted in mainland cities with mixed results.

The system would involve households receiving trash receptacles of specific sizes, such as a gray 96-gallon bin, and paying a set fee for that amount of garbage each week. Households with more trash could get two bins, while those with less could get a smaller bin.

The resolution urging the city to study the fee system was introduced by Councilman Charles Djou, who stipulated that he would support fees for trash collection only if they were coupled with a reduction in real property taxes.

“;A pay-as-you-throw system, as opposed to just a straight fee system, provides a greater incentive to full recycling,”; Djou said.