Garbage pickup costs set to fall $2.45 in April

Published 12:02 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Residential monthly garbage pickup fees will drop by $2.45 from $19.95 to $17.50, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Tuesday.

The rates will take effect April 1.

“We also wanted to wait on the (solid waste) billing cycles,” said Mayor Paul Winfield. “The city has five billing cycles, and we wanted to wait for the first of the month so no one is missed.”

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The reduction comes eight months after the board signed a six-year contract with Houston, Texas-based Waste Management to collect and dispose of garbage twice a week at a rate of $11.16 per household and small business per month.

The board voted 3-0 to cut the rates.

“We’re excited to do this,” Winfield said. “We’re able to do this because we renegotiated our contract with our Waste Management, which should save us $2.6 million over the next six years.”

The board delayed reducing the fee, he said, because the city’s solid waste fund had an $835,755 debt that it owed the city’s general fund for inter-fund loans to support solid waste costs. The city’s solid waste department is supposed to be self-supporting.

Winfield said the debt has been reduced sufficiently to allow the board to cut the garbage rates and pay off the debt. He said the solid waste fund’s debt should be paid off in about 14 months.

“After then, we’ll cut the rates again,” he said. “I can’t say what that will be until we get caught up.”

The board approved the new contract with Waste Management at a special meeting on June 24.

Under the contract, Waste Management collects and disposes of residential garbage twice a week for homes and small businesses and collects and disposes garbage four times a week for businesses in Vicksburg’s business district. Each business pays $25 per month.

Waste Management was one of three companies competing for the city’s business. Waste Pro of Mississippi Inc. of Jackson, which serves several cities across the state, bid on garbage collection, while Riverbend Environmental Services of Fayette bid on waste disposal.