Curbside fees for trash collection in Summit County may increase | ParkRecord.com

Curbside fees for trash collection in Summit County may increase

The Summit County Council will be asked to consider approving a $4 increase to annual curbside fees for garbage collection on Wednesday. If approved, the hike would bring the annual fee to $40.

Ever since Summit County implemented a fee for curbside trash collection in 2016, the rate has remained steady at $36.

But, elected officials are now considering a $4 hike to the annual garbage pickup fee to further reduce the county's general fund subsidy for the service. The household waste fee is collected county-wide. Businesses, hotels and commercial spaces that have dumpster service are not included because they likely contract with a trash service provider.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said trash collection costs roughly $2.9 million annually. He said the $36 fee provides nearly $900,000 in revenue and a $4 annual increase would bring in another $90,000.

"We are doing a couple things," he said. "We are continuing to increase the fee with some inflationary numbers. We are clearly not getting it to the point that it is totally covering the total contract for solid waste pickup. That's a discussion that needs to continue to happen."

The county first implemented curbside fees to begin offsetting the budget for the solid-waste division in the hopes of eventually creating a self-sustaining operation. Additional increases to the annual fees may be considered in the next several years to continue moving toward that goal.

Fisher said elected officials will need to continue considering ways to further reduce the county's subsidy of the service.

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"If there are ways for us to do different things with solid waste where there are less costs for pickup or more cost for pickup in the context of other revenue services that would do more things to reduce the amount of trash going into the landfill and lower the carbon footprint," Fisher said.

The county has a contract with Republic Services to provide the trash pickup, recycling and fee collection.

The Summit County Council is scheduled to consider the new fees as part of approving the 2019 fee schedule Wednesday. If approved, the new fees will be reflected in the July bill.

"We know how much the service costs and we can break that down very easily for customers," Fisher said. "The service is still highly subsidized by the general fund to the tune of about $2 million. The property taxpayer is subsidizing the service to that $2 million level and the actual service provided to that customer is picking up the balance with the fee."