Trash costs on the rise

December 21, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ


The price of garbage collection in Hagerstown is about to go up and a new service is coming: weekly curbside pickup of glass, plastic and aluminum products.

The Hagerstown City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to increase its rates because of changes to its pickup program.

The quarterly rate per residential unit will go up from $27 to $35.75, starting with bills sent after Jan. 20, 2006.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh cast the only vote of opposition.

Like the rest of the council, Nigh didn't comment on her vote. However, during a debate about the issue in November, she was skeptical about possible changes, especially when the council considered cutting general-trash collection from two days per week to one.


Nigh said at the time she wondered if the city's high percentage of renters would follow a new trash collection system.

After hearing that cutting one day of general-trash collection wouldn't save money, the council kept both days.

The council also decided in November to broaden its recycling collection. Tuesday's vote was to raise the rate associated with both more recycling and the increased cost of general-trash collection.

The city still will pick up general trash twice a week and mixed paper for recycling once a week.

For much of the year, yard waste will be collected once a week, too.

Under the new agreement, Allied Waste Services also will pick up glass, plastic and aluminum products for the city. Recycling will be voluntary.

The city's new three-year, $989,577 contract with Allied Waste Services for general trash pickup begins Jan. 1, 2006.

A separate $115,409 contract with Allied Waste Services covers recycling.

The council approved both contracts 3-1 last month. Nigh voted no to both.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean was out of the room for the votes.

Parson-McBean said then that residents can't feel "put upon" by recycling. Councilman Lewis C. Metzner, though, called recycling "the right thing to do."

Without curbside pickup, residents have taken recyclable bottles, jars and cans to large bins in public places throughout the city.

How they voted

The Hagerstown City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to increase its quarterly trash-collection rate from $27 to $35.75, starting next month, when the curbside recycling program expands.

Kristin B. Aleshire Yes

Kelly S. Cromer Yes

Lewis C. Metzner Yes

Penny M. Nigh No

Alesia D. Parson-McBean Yes

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