City to charge for additional waste containers

CLINTON -- The Clinton City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that mandates extra monthly fees for city residents who possess multiple of each kind of solid waste containers.

A recent audit by city administration found that several properties in Clinton possess more than one solid waste, yard waste or recycling container while paying monthly fees for using only one of a respective kind. Tuesday night, the council voted to begin charging those residents who use multiple of a certain kind of container.

The resolution will put into effect a $10 monthly fee for all additional solid waste containers, a $5 monthly fee for all additional recycling containers, and a $3 monthly fee for all additional yard waste containers. Each additional container also comes with a one-time $35 delivery fee, the resolution says.

The flat monthly collection fee of $17.65 will not change, City Administrator Matt Brooke said during Tuesday evening's meeting. Brooke also said that, should a resident's container be stolen, the $35 delivery fee for a new one will be waived if the resident provides a valid police report for the theft.

The resolution amends a 1998 piece of legislation governing the city's solid waste operations. Clinton Street Department Superintendent Creighton Regenwether, whose department oversees solid waste collection,said at a recent council Committee of the Whole meeting that the city provides basic services β€œat a fair price,” but the system was not meant to be β€œa la carte.”

Many residences are only paying for one cart of a certain kind, but in fact, have several, Regenwether said.

Brooke said Tuesday that the resolution is a way to assess a "fair price" to residents utilizing more than the city's basic service.

"We're trying to fix the [properties we see] that have eight or twelve carts but they're only paying for one," Brooke said. "We're working down towards that. ... Our guys have cameras now that are on these trucks that we have, so we can see."

Brooke cited the city's costly per-ton payment for solid waste, $44 per ton when crews deposit the waste at the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency, as another warrant for the extra monthly fees.

"When we go to the landfill, that's our biggest cost," Brooke said. "We're just making sure that people stay in control of their carts, and that they're at the homes they're supposed to be.

"Recently we've seen an increase [in solid waste tonnage], and we think it's attributed to the cans that aren't [being paid for], meaning people are putting extra cans out," Brooke said. "So now we're actually doing audits."