City raising garbage fees to cover costs
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:30 AM
City residents and business owners will pay an additional 70 cents for sanitation fees beginning in October because of a shortfall in FY 2010 collections as well as an increase passed down by Southern Waste Management, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen said last week.
The city contracts with Waste Management to collect household and business garbage twice a week.
The monthly fee will go from $10 to $10.70 beginning Oct. 1.
The fee is collected by Philadelphia Utilities as part of it's electrical and water bills and later reimbursed to the city.
The collection shortfall for FY 2010 totaled about $15,000, City Clerk James Johnson told aldermen.
The shortfall includes about $4,000 annually in uncollectable fees.
"People are moving in and moving out so it's not a set annual fee," Mayor James Young said, noting that some leave without paying their utility and sanitation bills.
The proposed increase from Waste Management will be about $10,000 annually, he said.
The city projects about $360,000 in revenue from sanitation fees for FY 2011.
Mayor Young said that a 2.69 percent increase or 70 cents a month would be enough to balance the Waste Management account.
"We did not have enough funds to balance the shortfall and we have to have a balance according to state law," Young said.
City Attorney Robert Thomas reminded board members that the city could not subsidize waste disposal nor could it make a profit from the collections.
The city has a six-year contract with Waste Management.
"Hopefully it won't go up any more in the next few years," Young said.
Currently Waste Management serves more than 3,100 households and businesses in Philadelphia.