Bismarck`s Rising Trash Fees | VideoJoel Porter | 11/26/2012
The question now remains, will residents support it?
The City of Bismarck hopes to extend the life of the landfill by another 50 years. But with the price of diesel fuel increasing coupled with an increasing population, the Public Works Department says it`ll have to charge more to keep up.
"We realize that a direction needed to be taken to keep our landfill viable," said director Jeff Heintz.
As part of a Houston Engineering study, the city plans to raise monthly fees to residents by four dollars as well as increase tipping fees at the trash site.
"A minimum charge of all landfill users of three dollars a load," Heintz said.
Heintz is also addressing the long-time request for curbside recycling. If approved, Bismarck would contract with Waste Management to pick up recyclables for around three dollars extra per month.
"Without taking the steps at this point to keep the costs in check and to keep our landfill from filling too quickly, we`d be remiss in not providing a long-term solution," Heintz said.
Currently, the city of Bismarck maintains 18 recycling dropsites throughout the city. If the contract with Waste Management was approved, each homeowner would receive a recycling container and those dropsites would decrease from 18 down to nine.
"This is not a type of operation where you just make a decision for next year. We`ve got a lot of land that needs to be managed properly and we`ve got a lot of garbage that needs to be managed properly," Heintz said.
The plan is not without reservations. City leader Parrell Grossman says he has concerns about asking residents to pay almost double to have their trash picked up.
"So there`s a great deal of sense to imposing those fees for garbage disposal, but I don`t want to see too much too soon."
The recycling plan, for the meantime, leaves out apartment dwellers. Grossman says he expects to get an earful from residents before a vote at Tuesday`s commission meeting.
Heintz says contractors can actually pay a lower reduced tipping fee at the landfill by separating wood beforehand which can be ground up for biomass and landscaping.