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Customers will notice an increase on their utility bill due to the recent adjustment for solid waste services. As reported in the March newsletter, U.S. recycling companies have really began seeing the impact from recycling bans put in place by China, once the largest customer in the industry, and several other Southeastern Asian countries causing Sunbright Recycling to increase the fees charged to Waste Management from $25/ton to $70/ton. This would have reflected in a $.44 increase per month to residential customers utility bills, but City Council decided to waive this increase to customers until July of 2019 since the contract allows for an annual rate adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, the fees charged per ton by Sunbright Recycling have increased to $85/ton since March causing the $.44 increase to $.59 per customer account.
Waste Management also requested a 3.9% rate adjustment, per the current solid waste agreement, due to increased inflationary costs related to garbage collection, including increases to workers’ wages, cost of equipment, and garbage disposal reflected in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, Garbage and Trash Collection not seasonally adjusted over the last 12-month period (May 2018 to May 2019). This was approved by council at the July City Council meeting. According to Investopedia, “the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food, and medical care. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them. Changes in the CPI are used to assess price changes associated with the cost of living; the CPI is one of the most frequently used statistics for identifying periods of inflation or deflation.”
The solid waste portion of your utility bill will increase by $1.35, from $17.14 to $18.49. Additional carts will increase by $.22, from $5.55 per cart per month to $5.77 per month per cart.