Council considers garbage hike, recycling changes

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Andalusia residents could soon see an increase in garbage fees, if an ordinance proposed Tuesday night is approved.

Mayor Earl Johnson said for every $1 the city spends on sanitation, it is only recovering 75 cents in garbage fees.

“The City of Andalusia provides weekly hobo trash removal, and we have plans to expand to pick up more of what we call litter,” he said. “To do that, we’ve got to have the revenue to pay for it.”

To cover the approximately $988,293 it spends annually picking up garbage, trash, and spraying for mosquitoes, the council is considering raising pickup fees for residents and businesses that have only one hobo to $20 per month, and increase of $5 per month.

For business establishments that have dumpsters, fees will be set based on the number of pickups per week:

  • For five pickups per week – $329.
  • For four pickups per week – $264.
  • For three pickups per week – $199.
  • For two pickups per week – $132.
  • For one pickup per week – $67.

The ordinance also sets fees for the city’s landfill at $2 per hundred weight with a minimum charge of $20, with appropriate permits. Those who are subscribers to the city’s garbage service may dump appropriate items at the C/D landfill if they present a current copy of a garbage bill.

The price for special pickup of tree limbs, trees, old appliances or similar materials will be $91 per load.

A council can only pass an ordinance after a second reading, unless the council votes unanimously to suspend the rules. The proposed ordinance amends the existing ordinance for garbage and trash collection and landfill fees.

Johnson said city officials also are looking at the cost effectiveness of its curbside recycling program, and is considering changes in the future.

According to a fact sheet provided to council members, only 25 percent of the city’s 4,274 garbage customers participate in curbside recycling. The program costs approximately $200,000 per year to operate.