New fees target households that throw away too much trash

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 2:00am

Metro Council last night signed off on sweeping changes to the Metro code pertaining to solid waste management, which includes a new pay-as-you-throw program that will be implemented gradually over the next four years.

Under pay as you throw, by 2014 Metro will charge monthly fees –– projected to be $5 or less –– to households that use more than one 96-gallon trash container. The policy would apply solely to those who live in the urban services district, which generally refers to the older, inner core of the city.

The idea is to create a financial incentive to encourage recycling and to divert the volume of waste being delivered to landfills.

According to Metro Public Works Director Billy Lynch, approximately 124,000 households within the urban service district rely on the public works department for trash collection. Of those, 106,000 households use only one container.

In effect, the pay-as-you-throw program targets those 18,000 households that use more than one trash container.


12 Comments on this post:

By: yucchhii on 8/18/10 at 6:42

Yeah, UH HUH!! RIGHT!! They say "TARGET" those house holds that use TOO much trash. I still want to know how you use TOO much trash! Then whatever homes "DO" use TOO much trash won't be the ONLY ones...They will tax us ALL! C'mon, HOW MANY PEOPLE DO THE CITY THINK ARE THAT STUPID?

By: girliegirl on 8/18/10 at 7:25

This will hurt us by encouraging people to do the exact negative act: illegal dumping. We've had this problem in the past, and we go again.

By: budlight on 8/18/10 at 7:31

Yep, my thoughts exactly girlie. My family has access to our "out of state" contracted dump pick up. BUT I see them driving around with the lids open and trash is spilling out on highways and city streets. So I'm paying my tax AND paying my private trash hauler to get my trash. A container 1/2 the size of metro's. So get ready metro. Illegal dumping rates will soar.

By: MamaG on 8/18/10 at 10:06

We have 2 containers at my house but we have basically 2 households there. How will they determine what and who to charge in that case? Buncha frikkin' idiots....

By: yazoo on 8/18/10 at 10:12

I'll betcha all of you folks spend hours every day analyzing your financial portfolio, watching television, and surfing the web. But not a one of you even give a passing thought to buying buckets of fast food, prepared meals from the supermarkets or even thinking for a moment about how much waste you just pitch in the dumpster. As a family of 4 I generate, at most, 1 30 gallon can of waste a MONTH. Composting, recycling and thoughtful purchases that avoid the packaging waste is too easy.

You want the alternative? A peremptory waste disposal fee on the packaging waste at the time of sale? I do.

By: yazoo on 8/18/10 at 10:33

Another thought. Where in your mindset does the thought that you can just generate mountains of solid waste as if it is a Constitutional right? Use too much electric, you pay more. Use too much water and up goes your water and sewer bill. When did solid waste and your trash stream become an open ended no limit privilege / right / mandate? Vote with your purchases.

By: MamaG on 8/18/10 at 10:34

yazoo, I also recycle and compost. I don't generate that much trash either. I still have 2 cans at my house because my mother lives on one side and I live on the other. As a family of 2 (on my side), we generate about 1, 30 gallon bag of waste per week. I find it extremely hard to believe a family of 4 only generates that much per month. How do you do it? Seriously, give us some tips if you're that good at it.

By: JohnGalt on 8/18/10 at 11:49

I have private refuse service, yahoo. Over $200 per year. Recently, for a monthly fee, Metro offered to pick up recyclable trash that is scrupulously pre-sorted and allows a few types of trash. Noone in my area signed up...including me.

By: budlight on 8/18/10 at 12:47

Mama, it can be done. Breaking down cartons, buying bulk with less packaging and just being mindful of "packaging". I remember when a small item was packaged in a small box. Now it's in a big package with cardboard, plastic and all sorts of fancy stuff. A lot to dispose of. Packaging is big business in America and in the world.

By: dustywood on 8/19/10 at 6:27

I personally would like more than the once a month recycle pickup. We have a total of 4 recycle containers. I had asked for a 3rd one ,but they dropped off two more.
I always fill at least one if not two of the recycle bins every month. My regular trash consists of one partially filled garbage container, this is for two people,2 cats, one dog. I do not compost. Never could get it to work right. But I do conserve water, electricity, and do what I can to make sure that recycles go where they should.
You can not pack recycles too tightly in their bin as they will not dump properly.
Also how are they going to charge people on the trash can use? Sometimes I do not need to put my one can up on the road, so skipping a week. But then sometimes I need to put two of them up because I missed a week. Same way with the recycle containers.
Just a way to charge people even more on their taxes. How about a credit if my can is not up on the road, or giving me "green " points for my recycle cans.

By: BenDover on 8/19/10 at 9:19

We've got the large metro containers they pick up with the automated trucks. I usually have less than 1/2 a container of garbage a week and almost 2 full containers of recycle every month. Since they started taking plastic in recycle we really do have less garbage than we recycle. Just break down the cardboard and crush the bottles and jugs (and recap) to take up less space. We also have a bin for the glass but that's more of a PitA because they don't pick it up; but it's not so bad to take the glass to the recycle center. This one's really a no brainer... a couple of bins and a passive sort based on what type of trash it is. Nothing to it.

By: sccowan on 8/19/10 at 12:47

OK - so now Metro wants to tax us based on our usage and consumption. You use it; you pay for it. Let's apply that logic throughout metro and only pay for the services we use. I'd be all for it. Property taxes would drop for thousands whose children attend private schools. No more need to pay for something you don't use or have any need for. Let's go metro - get 'er done !!