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Home Recycling Garbage, recycling bills going up in Great Falls under city plan

Garbage, recycling bills going up in Great Falls under city plan


Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune
Published 1:04 p.m. MT Jan. 19, 2020


These are the proposed residential garbage collection rates for 2020. (Photo: City of Great Falls)

The city of Great Falls is proposing a 7.5 percent increase in residential and commercial garbage collection fees and a 33 percent hike in cardboard recycling fees for commercial customers.

Under the proposal:

» The monthly charge for picking up a regular 96-gallon container at a single-family residence would increase 95 cents from $12.70 to $13.65.

» The monthly charge for collecting a 96-gallon container from a commercial site would increase $1.55, from $21.50 to $22.80.

By comparison, monthly public garbage collection fees for homeowners in Bozeman are $24.45; Havre, $16.33; Helena, $14.68; and Billings, $11.25, according to the city.

Monthly residential service fees charged by Republic Services, a private hauler that also owns the landfill, are $12.33 in Great falls, according to the city.

The proposed 7.5 increase compares to a 10-year average annual increase in garbage fees in Great Falls of 3.69 percent, according to the city.

The monthly costs of cardboard recycling would increase $5 from $15 to $20, a 33 percent increase.

The city collects corrugated cardboard only from commercial customers.

Increased operations and equipment costs are driving most of the increase, Laura Lynch, Utilities Operations supervisor, said in a report on the sanitation service collection rates.

Also, in the prior fiscal year, the sanitation fund did not meet its bond covenant for outstanding debt on the fleet, the report says.

The increases also will help pay for a 63 cent per ton increase in the landfill rate, the report says.

The City Commission will hear a report on the sanitation rate review at a work session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. At a Commission meeting following the work session, commissioners will vote on setting a Feb. 18 public hearing on the proposed increases.

The increases, if approved, would go into effect March 1.

Karl Puckett covers the city of Great Falls and Cascade County for the Tribune. He can be reached at kpuckett@greatfallstribune or 406-791-1471, or on Twitter at @GFTrib_KPuckett

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