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Fuel costs pushing garbage fee higher

In the wake of rising fuel prices, Waste Management is going upon their pickup costs, and as a result, city residents will noticea 50-cent increase on their bills in June, officials saidTuesday.

Mayor Bob Massengill said the city’s contract with WasteManagement says rates may go up or down when the cost of dieselfuel changes 10 percent or more. The cost of diesel was $2.75 atthe time of the contract and now sits at $4.04.

Massengill said the rate change went up for the city effective May1.

“None of us wants to see it go up, but we need to go up the sameamount they have,” he said. “We really have no option.”

Aldermen speculated that with gas costs rising like they have been,there could be another rate increase by the end of the year.

In other waste issues, Massengill told aldermen the city’s twolandfills are in the process of being repermitted with theDepartment of Environmental Quality.

The first landfill, Massengill said, is already over its boundarieswith rubbish, and while some of it can be put in the secondlandfill, it can only be the yard waste such as grass, branches,pine needles and other plant-based refuse.

Once there are things such as paper or plastic mingled in with thepiles of yard waste, it cannot be taken to the second landfill,Massengill said.

“In other words those piles that are co-mingled are a realproblem,” Massengill said. “They always have been, but even more sonow. It would be a real help to us and a cost savings to people ifthey would separate their paper, flower pots and other things fromtheir yard waste.”

Massengill said there is no option, and that the city is formallyasking its residents not to co-mingle their garbage.

“It’s never been more important than it is now,” he said.