by SEAN BATURA
Trash and recycling rates are about to ease upward in San Marcos.
Starting Feb. 1, single-family residential customers can expect to see their monthly bill for trash and recycling pickup increase from $17.56 to $18.37. Apartment tenants can expect an increase from $5.53 to $5.76 per month for recycling. That’s a total increase of $1.04.
Under the city’s contract with Texas Disposal Systems, the company can claim an increase each year tied to the Producer Price Index for diesel fuel and solid waste collection, up to a maximum of 5 percent. In this case, the contract saved consumers money because those variable costs rose 7.69 percent last year.
City staff on Tuesday warned councilmembers the city might be in breach of its contract with TDS if the fee adjustment is not paid for. The council could raise the fees or pay for the increased costs out general fund revenue.
Technically, the council must approve the rate hike ordinance on second reading at its next regular meeting but rarely reverses itself after an ordinance passes its initial vote.
Unlike homeowners and home renters, commercial customers are allowed to choose their own trash pickup vendor although, in 2010, the council started charging apartment dwellers for recycling service.
An early estimate form the city indicates that only 13 percent of people who live in apartments are using recycling services. City officials said on Tuesday that the actual usage rate may actually be as high as 30 percent, but council members John Thomaides and Kim Porterfield said even that level of participation is disappointing.
“It hardly seems worth it,” Porterfield said.Email | Print