Fee hike for trash pickup weighed: Council considers two increase that would push total to $13.47 per month

Get ready to pay more for trash pickup and leaf and limb service if you live in Greenwood, where city utility rates have been on the rise in recent years.

The city is considering raising trash rates by about 22 percent over the next two years. Residents currently pay $10.97 a month to get their trash taken away, to have leaves hauled off their curbs in the fall and to have city workers pick up downed or trimmed tree limbs year-round.

Greenwood is looking at raising that rate by $1.25 next year and by another $1.25 in 2014. After the increases, residents would end up paying $13.47 a month for trash service.

Overall, the monthly fees for city-run utilities will have nearly doubled since 2009 if the latest rate hikes are approved. In total, the recent, forthcoming and proposed utility rate increases will take more than $21.50 extra per month on average out of Greenwood residents’ pockets.

City residents would pay an average of $258 more per year in fees for city-run utilities than they did three years ago, if all the rate hikes take effect.

The rate increases will come up for preliminary approval at the city council’s meeting on Nov. 19. The council has approved three utility bill increases this year — two for sewer service and one for a new stormwater utility, which costs residents $5 a month.

Greenwood wants to raise trash rates because the current monthly fee does not cover the cost of services, and the city doesn’t want to cut or scale back leaf and limb pickup, controller Adam Stone said.

The city is making trash service into a separate utility with its own bank account, Stone said. Waste management had been part of the city’s sewer utility, which has been struggling financially in recent years until a recent series of rate hikes.

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