Raleigh Residents Claim Proposed Garbage Fee Hike Is 'Rubbish'
Posted May 15, 2002 4:10 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — City officials claim Raleigh residents are getting a bargain right now. For $1.30 a month, city workers come into your yard, collect your cans and dump out your trash. Under the city's proposed budget for next year, that rate would jump to $5 a month.
Some homeowners are not happy that their garbage collection bill might triple.
"That's a lot. That's my opinion. That's too much of an increase," homeowner Marina Presnell said.
The rate hike would make Raleigh's fee comparable to Charlotte, where residents pay $5 a month, and Greensboro, which charges $4.50 a month. Raleigh's rate would still be much lower than the Wake County town of Wendell, where residents pay $14.80 a month.
Raleigh leaders said garbage collection actually costs the city $20 a month per household.
"Ours is a very high level of service. Twice a week, we go into the back yard and bring it out to the streets and into our trucks. Most cities have gone to a more effecient system, which is once-a-week collection, having residents wheel the cart out to the street and we collect it curbside," city manager Russell Allen said.
The town of Chapel Hill stirred up controversy when it got rid of curbside service last year. Town leaders estimate that will save $400,000 over six years. Back in Raleigh, Allen said cutting curbside service might be considered next year.
In the meantime, residents like Presnell are resigned to footing more of the bill for garbage collection.
"Even if we don't like it, they're going to raise it anyway. They're going to get the money whether we like it or not," Presnell said.
City leaders said the rate hike will generate $4.5 million this budget year. Next year, they will start looking at other options like ending curbside service or increasing the rate to $8 a month.
People in Raleigh also pay property taxes than other towns in Wake County. Raleigh pays 38.5 cents per $100. Every other town in Wake County pays more. The highest rates are in Wendell, Holly Springs, Wake Forest and Garner.