Trash pickup will remain on a regular schedule the week of July 4 across the Highland Lakes. Staff photo
STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
MARBLE FALLS — City officials have negotiated a deal with a waste disposal service to expand recycling container options and add more bulk pickup days for residential and commercial customers at the same and, in some cases, lower rates.
The city of Marble Falls recently approved extending a five-year contract with Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste).
For the first two years at no rate increase, the company will offer additional waste service amenities, including a recycling option for businesses and increasing the recycling container size for all customers.
“All of that is going to remain at the same price we currently are now,” said city Finance Director Margie Cardenas.
Changes to the commercial contract (businesses) involve adding a recycling component, not offered before, but then splitting the expense between that feature and a reduced waste disposal rate instead of tacking on additional cost.
“The current charge (for waste disposal only on a 95-gallon container) is $30.60. It will be reduced to $17 per month,” Cardenas said. “It’s going to be reduced 44 percent.
“The (business) recycling will be $12 per month picked up every other week,” she added. “If businesses were to add to that, the cost is still a reduction (in rate).”
For the larger roll-off containers, commercial customers will see an overall 3.5 percent decrease in rate.
For all customers, the size of the recycling bins will increase from 18-gallon bins to 95-gallon containers with lids.
“We have had a lot of people who have requested sometime even more bins,” Cardenas said. “On the days when the wind is bad, some of those items blow away.
“You will have the larger (recycling) container but picked up every other week instead of weekly,” she added.
The recycling component will also add glass containers to the list of accepted items.
“That’s also another reason why going to a larger bin would make more sense,” Cardenas said. “They want to promote more items being able to be recycled.”
Also, residents currently participate in a program that offers twice-per-year bulk item pickup and disposal.
“It happens in the spring and the fall. It will be done quarterly now,” she said. “We want to give citizens more opportunities to do those cleanings.”
The new schedule for bulk pickup is pending.
A component of the contract gives Republic Services the option of coming before the council in their third year of the contract to request a 3 percent overall rate increase.
“It’s not an automatic increase,” Cardenas said. “At the third, fourth, and fifth year, they will ask council for a 3 percent increase at that time.”