San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 4th, 2012
Council OKs small garbage, recycling fee increases


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.

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2 thoughts on “Council OKs small garbage, recycling fee increases

  1. Well that is just peachy! Still less pick up but now it’s going to cost us more. Unreal. Someone needs to run up to Colorado and see, first hand, how to really recycle. Trash pickup, although only once a week now, is good. They are prompt and do a great job. Recycling…a few months back they did not pick up for over a month! We should have trash bins, paper only bins, and glass/plastic container bins. Recycling pickup should be weekly.

  2. The city council has a knack for charging more money for anything that is supposed to be “smart” or “green.” (See how much it cost to re-tool to smart meters as another example.) They love to throw around buzz words. Love to emulate the most idiotic models from other municipalities.

    Probably networking from their League of Cities junkets. Here is a buzz phrase for you. Show me the money! Why don’t you donate your stipends, clearly y’all are not working to hard to earn your pay because each solution is to raise rates and give breaks to developers. Perhaps if you increased public awareness and provided incentives your lavish stipends would be an investment. Generate some creative solutions versus inside the box reactionary policies which deleteriously effect the working poor and middle class.

    If recycling is so good, then why does that paradigmatic mindset not spill over to water conservation. Lifting those restrictions, Shame on Y’all!

    PS just love that little RFID tag they attach to our recycling bins. =( NOT!

    PSS The dream meetings model are a joke. Really …..using car metaphors to vote on our dream. Now that took allot of creativity.

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