Republic Services has a deal for the disposal company’s Albany customers: We’ll raise your rates $3 a month, and in return we’ll pick up your yard debris every week, instead of biweekly as now, and you can put food waste in with the yard clippings if you want. At a work session Monday, most of the city council seemed ready to sign off on the change when it comes up for action later on.
Twice before, the council said no to weekly yard-debris-plus-food-waste pickup. Republic representatives Julie Jackson and Kevin Hines brought it up again Monday. They said that in an online survey, nearly 54 percent of 1,030 respondents wanted to pay more for weekly yard debris pickup. The company says it has 14,675 residential customers in Albany.
Only Councilman Rich Kellum sounded skeptical. The survey respondents favoring it, he noted, are only a small minority of customers, but all customers will have to pay the $3 monthly price jump if the council authorizes it.
Residential trash collection service now costs $18.31 a month for a 32-gallon cart. It includes weekly collection of commingled recycling plus the yard debris pickup every other week. That class of service will go up a nickel per month on Jan. 1, 2017, under an agreed-upon schedule based on inflation, the price of diesel fuel and the dumping fees levied by the Coffin Butte landfill, also a branch of Republic Services. Other residential services will see similar increases averaging six cents a month..
The company reps said food waste accounts for up to 40 percent of trash in Oregon, and customers may be able to save money by downsizing their trash carts when food scraps are recycled. The disposal service charges less for smaller carts or less frequent service, which also is available.
If the council agrees, the weekly yard debris and food waste service for Albany customers would begin in March 2017. Republic customers in Lebanon and Corvallis already pay for weekly yard debris and food waste pickup. Republic says they are proposing the same service boost for Albany customers outside the city limits in Benton County.
The company turns food waste and yard debris into compost at its processing center on Camp Adair Road. The compost is sold mostly for application on farm fields. (hh)