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City of Burnet trash and recycling customers will notice a bump in their bills starting Nov. 1 after the City Council approved a 3 percent rate hike during its regular meeting Sept. 22.

Under its contract with the city, Al Clawson Disposal Inc. can request to increase the rate by up to 3 percent a year. This hike marks the fifth year in a row the company has requested an increase and it has been granted. The fee increase is in response to higher costs for landfill, recycling, and other operational expenses. 

“When we first entered into the contract, the recycling facility would actually pay the disposer for the recyclables. Now, it’s the opposite,” said Burnet City Manager David Vaughn. “Now, the disposer has to pay them to dispose of it. So, it’s made a significant difference in the business model for what it costs to recycle.”

Previously, a disposer would be paid $15 per ton of recyclable materials. Now, the costs have reversed, with a disposer paying $45 per ton to drop off recyclables. Part of the $60 swing is attributed to tariffs impacting the recycling industry in recent years.

“That was not anticipated at the time they gave us the original proposal,” Vaughn said.

The 3 percent increase in the amount billed to the customer includes both the contract amount with ACDI and the city’s billing fee.

Before the rate increase, for example, a customer with one 95-gallon solid waste cart and one 95-gallon recycling cart would pay $22.07 per month for weekly trash and every-other-week recycling pickup. An additional solid waste cart was $4.12 per month; an additional recycling cart was $2.71 per month.

With the rate increase, a customer with a waste and recycling cart would pay $22.74. For additional carts, it breaks down to $4.24 for each solid waste cart and $2.79 for each additional recycling cart.