Inflation is showing up in different places, and next year it will hit your bills for trash collection in Albany. Republic Services will increase its prices just under 6 percent starting Jan. 1, the company has told the city council.
Under its franchise with the city, the disposal company can adjust its prices once a year based on a combination of three factors, all weighted differently: the Consumer Price Index, the price of low-sulfur diesel fuel, and the disposal rate at the Coffin Butte Landfill, also run by Republic Services.
Its calculations showed that by this past June, the CPI had gone up 3.6 percent since June 2020, the price of diesel had jumped 30.4 percent, and the landfill disposal rate was up 2.1 percent. Combined, this yields a 5.9 percent price hike for trash collection in Albany in 2022.
“Pretty high,” said Julie Jackson, Republic’s municipal relations manager in this area. But she reminded the council during Monday’s work session, held on Zoom as usual, that there had been no increase in 2021 or 2020. And she expected the next price jump to be lower. Overall, she said, the company averages increases of about 2.5 percent a year.
Under the pricing agreement made several years ago, the council does not have to approve Republic’s rates. In past years Councilwoman Bessie Johnson has objected to the rate being set according to an inflexible formula. But she missed Monday’s session. (The mayor said she was having surgery and asked for prayers for her.)
This increase amounts to $1.61 a month per residential account.
In September, Republic raised monthly bills in Albany by $2.95 to pay for weekly yard debris collection, which previously had been done every two weeks. The weekly service has been welcomed by many customers, Jackson told the council.
She also said the company had just about solved a problem of not having enough drivers. Once two new hires complete their training, the crew should be one away from being fully staffed. (hh)