North Adams residents will pay more to throw out the trash
NORTH ADAMS — City residents will soon pay more to dispose of their trash.
Citing a rise in the cost of removing solid waste from the transfer station, the city will increase its rates for those who take their garbage there in fiscal 2020, which begins July 1.
"To get rid of our solid waste, our contract went up 2.07 percent," said city Administrative Officer Michael Canales. "We also saw additional increases in other line items — in particular, we now have an employee who is taking a family [health insurance] plan."
The price of 15-gallon trash bags will increase from $1 to $1.25, while the price of a 33-gallon trash bag will jump from $2.25 to $2.50.
For commercial haulers who pay via the scale, the rate will increase from $0.0569 per pound to $0.0633 per pound of general refuse.
The new rates, which received the recommendation of the City Council's public services committee, were approved Tuesday by the council.
The cost of an annual permit sticker — it's $60 for residents and $80 for nonresidents — will not increase.
City officials estimate that the price hikes will result in an increase of $32.81 annually for the average family of four, based on the Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of 4.43 pounds of garbage generated per day by the average American.
Canales suggested that residents could offset the cost increases by being more vigilant about recycling, for which the city does not currently charge.
"Those are constant ways that we can continue to save, as it costs us more and more money to throw away garbage," said Councilor Joshua Moran, who added that the city could entertain the idea of commercial composting.
In a separate action Tuesday, the City Council approved the use of $42,942 from the transfer station reserve account to purchase new bins that hold solid waste, and recycled paper and plastic at the transfer station.
Adam Shanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.
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