F’ville raises trash pickup rate, but keeps discount for seniors

Seniors in Fayetteville will continue to receive a 15 percent discount for trash pick-up, but they, along with all other customers, will pay a bit more for the service. Benefitting from the discount, seniors in the past and future will continue to pay less than what the city is charged for the service.

A proposal to increase the rate to $10.45 from the current rate of $10 while maintaining the 15 percent senior discount passed the Fayetteville City Council by unanimous vote on June 19.

“Our current solid waste contractor (Waste Industries) charges the city $9.80 per account for sanitation and recycling. The city currently charges customers $10 per month and senior customers (over 65) receive a 15 percent discount. Based on this rate structure, the city is currently not covering the costs associated with sanitation and recycling,” said assistant finance director Ellen Walls.

The reason the city is not covering the costs is simple: approximately 1,200, or 22 percent, of the 5,500 customers are seniors receiving the 15 percent discount. That discount means seniors are paying less than what the city is charged for the trash pickup service.

To address the shortfall, city staff recommended either raising the rate for all customers or eliminating the senior discount. The council opted to raise the rate for everyone.

The new rate will still include a 15 percent discount for seniors. The new rate effective Aug. 1 will have seniors paying $8.88 and all other customers paying $10.45.

Walls said Fayetteville has provided a senior discount for approximately 25 years and is the only local government in Fayette County to do so.