Solid waste collection in the city of Phoenix is going to cost more money under a new ordinance that changes the fee structure.
The Phoenix City Council this week approved the increase to the current monthly residential solid waste rate of $26.80. Over a period of two years, the fees will be implemented through a series of increases starting in April 2020. First, the fee will increase by $3.75, and then in January 2021, another $3.25 will be tacked on. The monthly rate for waste collection will then be $33.80.
The Phoenix Public Works Office recommended the fee increases in a report. After implementing a multi-week community outreach strategy, the Public Works staff found justification to accommodate a rate hike on garbage collection services. 5,800 households were surveyed from across the community, and respondents showed a 90 percent satisfaction with the city’s solid waste services.
According to the city, Public Works staff hosted 13 meetings and attended local homeowners’ associations and citizen watch meetings to present findings. The staff also engaged with solid waste customers and residents at transfer stations and other various community events.
City staff also recommended an increase for the Refuse Tipping Fee. The current fee is $38.25, which is what third party customers pay to dispose of their waste at the city's transfer station to the landfill.
The first increase of the fee will tack on $3.75 more during the current fiscal year. The second increase is an additional $2 in 2021, and the third is a $1 fee increase in 2023. According to the city, this legislation will contribute to a citywide goal to achieve a 40 percent waste diversion rate. Presently, the city’s current level is a 36 percent waste diversion rate.
Tuesday’s 7-2 vote certified the ordinance and its phase-in plan for the fee increases. One of the members dissenting was Councilman Sal DiCiccio. He expressed dismay at the ordinance’s passage saying that insight from his staff and an appointed fee advisor were completely ignored.
The councilman's appointee “offered simple suggestions that would have allowed us to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and preserve the same level of service our residents deserve without increasing fees, but the politicians at City Hall chose to ignore these suggestions in favor of digging into your wallet once again,” DiCiccio said, stating that he voted by phone due to a hospitalization.