FAIRHOPE — Some Fairhope residents with limited incomes could be eligible for reduced garbage collection rates starting Oct. 1 under a plan approved Monday, Aug. 22, by the city council.The …
FAIRHOPE — Some Fairhope residents with limited incomes could be eligible for reduced garbage collection rates starting Oct. 1 under a plan approved Monday, Aug. 22, by the city council.
The council voted to approve an update on the city garbage collection rates. Under the new plan, some residents could apply for a 50% reduction in collection fees, while some businesses might see an increase in fees.
Residents who live in subsidized housing that does not receive trash collection from the city of Fairhope can apply for the reduction if their only income is from Social Security.
At an earlier discussion on the plan, Richard Johnson, public works director, said residents will have to apply for the reduced rate.
"Any occupant living in a housing unit that is not capable of being fully served by the city garbage, trash and-or recycle, the occupant may complete an application provided by the city requesting a reduction by 50% of the rates
Johnson said that in addition to paying for collections, the fees also cover the costs of services such as operating the city landfill and cleaning litter from streets and sidewalks.
Councilman Jay Robinson said residents should pay some costs, but the new plan allows a discount for some people with limited incomes who do not receive all the city services.
"I think the issue was when there was a situation where a citizen is charged the full amount for a service that for whatever reason they don't have access to use," Robinson said. "We can't provide it to them wherever they may live. That bothered me a little bit, but I completely agree with what you're saying that everybody bears a certain burden for city pickup, citywide, access to the dump and all these other things and so whether you use a service or not, access to the service is what you're paying for."
Under the plan, some commercial rates will increase. The new plan sets a collection rate at $25 for each city garbage container collected by Fairhope trucks. The previous plan set a rate at $25 for the first container and $5 for each additional container.
Johnson said crews will only collect from contained issued by the city under the new plan.
"That's going to probably be a big, big thing since now this service is based upon the number of carts and since now the service is based upon the number of carts and as we refer to them, we do have orphan cans out there and we tend to be pretty generous in picking those up, but we need to make sure that we're picking up city of Fairhope issued garbage containers," Johnson said.
Johnson said the new rate is still less expensive than paying the cost of private collections by dumpster services.