City mulls increase in disposal rates
Inquiring about changing needs for citizens in the Newberg area, the city of Newberg is in discussion with Waste Management about possible rate increases. The changes in question – which have not been formally proposed by the Dallas, Texas-based company but are instead in the preliminary stages – would add a weekly recycling service as well as a separate food waste fee.
The changes would add $3.59 a month for weekly recycling; Newberg is currently only on a bi-weekly pickup scheduled with Waste Management. Additional fees would include $3.31 per month for weekly food waste pickup along with a change in the disposal process to account for said food waste.
The company's yard debris contractor does not accept food waste, so the company found a contractor that does. The reason for the rate increase, officials say, is because the contractor is further away and it costs the company more to send them the materials.
There are a number of factors at play for why the city inquired about potential changes and why Waste Management would be interested in implementing them, according to communications manager Gary Chittim.
"We're always listening to understand what the city needs," he said. "Individual council members had asked us in a small meeting what it would take to expand services in a couple specific ways. Waste Management put together proposals and eventually it will be up to the city to decide which direction they might want to go."
The company has been tasked by the city with surveying residents on their interest in these changes. If they are, Chittim said that Waste Management can move forward with the city on official proposals subject to council approval.
"It depends on the city and what they want," he said. "Some cities like to have that increased service while others don't. It depends on their needs and often what they're willing to pay for services. We will provide it for them however they want it."
One proposal is actually being put forward in the coming months and it would be the result of major changes around the globe.
"We're talking about establishing a market rate for the recycling drop boxes," Chittim said. "There are two kinds of drop boxes – garbage and recycling – and we have an established rate for garbage but we haven't charged for recycling in the past. Historically, the price of recyclables covered the cost for Waste Management, but the collapse of the international recycling markets has changed all of that."
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