City Council Approves Initial Plan For Solid Waste Rate Increases

Photo Courtesy: WPTA ABC21

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO):  City Council have given their initial approval for a solid waste rate increase plan.  Mayor Tom Henry’s Administration and City Council Tuesday Night reached a compromise to move forward with a solid waste rate plan ordinance and a resolution for the distribution of $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to be used to pay eligible City of Fort Wayne Solid Waste Department expenses. Final approval could be granted at next week’s City Council meeting.

The ordinance would adjust the monthly single-family residential household solid waste fee from $12 to $15.80 beginning July 1st, 2023. On January 1, 2024, the rate would go to $16.51 and include other variables. A full rate adjustment is being tiered in over a 30-month period. There will be an adjustment to the rates every six months starting July 1, 2023 until July 1, 2025 and then annually thereafter. In addition, beginning January 1, 2023, residents with extra garbage bins will pay $4 per month instead of the current $2 per month charge.

Bulk collection would be handled by the City’s Solid Waste Department. Pending final approval from City Council, residents would call 311 to request to have furniture and non-freon appliances collected. Materials would be collected within 48 hours. Also, residents should continue to wrap mattresses and box springs if those items are set out. The solid waste rate has remained the same since 2018. Rates were intended to be adjusted in 2020 but were not due to the service from the previous contractor. The patience and understanding from ratepayers are reflected in the delay and staggered approach to the new rate starting in 2023 which equates to a discount.

A customer’s solid waste bill includes more than the collection of garbage and recycling. The entire solid waste bill includes garbage/recycling collection, garbage disposal, recycling processing, leaf collection, salaries of solid waste staff, cart purchases, fuel/truck payments, utilities, billing, household hazardous waste, neighborhood cleanups, and dumpsters. Changes to the rate structure are needed to fund current and future solid waste services and ensure the Solid Waste Fund remains stable to meet the solid waste needs of the community.

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