City of Atlanta recycling cart.

The Atlanta City Council approved a resolution Monday asking the Department of Public Works to evaluate alternative collection-rate structures and the best practices of other municipalities prior to adopting proposed rate increases for solid waste and recycling collection services.

The legislation was sponsored by City Councilmember Felicia Moore.

Proposed Ordinance 17-0-1230, currently being held in the Finance Executive Committee, would significantly increase solid waste and recycling collection rates for residential and commercial property owners in the City.

“I introduced this bill because I think we should explore other options in our rate structure and compare how we collect for solid waste and recycling with other municipalities,” said City Councilmember Felicia Moore. “We do not want to impose a future hardship on homeowners and commercial property owners.”

A number of municipalities in metropolitan Atlanta, including Douglasville, Marietta and Smyrna, assess a monthly flat rate to residential homeowners for solid waste, recycling and yard collection, and also provide discounted solid-waste rates for senior citizens.

Many cities comparable in size to Atlanta also charge monthly flat rates to residential property owners.

Under the proposed ordinance, a graduated schedule of rate adjustments would be implemented for recycling services beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2020. Property owners are assessed an annual base rate, in addition to a per-foot frontage fee to cover garbage-collection costs.

From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 the current $88.00 annual base rate for recycling would increase to $102.24 for each single-family residence and for each unit of duplex, triplex and quadruplex residences.

From July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, the annual base rate would increase to $116.49, and from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 the fee would increase to $130.73 per year.

In Atlanta, citizens who earn an income of less than $8,000 per year would be exempt from this fee.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.