Under Atlanta City Council Proposal, Some Could See Higher Bills For Trash

Under the new proposal before the Atlanta City Council, business and apartment owners could see the biggest increases in their trash collection rates. Homeowners’ average bills would go up by $9.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press file

Changes may be coming to trash in Atlanta, and they could mean higher bills.

The people who would see the biggest increases under the new proposal before the Atlanta City Council are business and apartment owners.

Their rates for trash collection could double depending on the size of their property.

Homeowners would also pay more under the plan but only slightly — their average bills would go up by $9.

Public Works Commissioner William Johnson told the City Council on Monday that the hikes were necessary to cope with a $14 million deficit.

“The rate increase that we’re proposing will basically stop the bleeding. It will get us to a point where we’ll be at break even,” he said.

According to Johnson’s department, the current solid waste rates haven’t changed since 2004 and thus haven’t kept up with equipment and labor costs.

One fee that is new in the plan is a $700 charge for vacant lots. Johnson said that’s because empty properties are magnets for dumping.

“We’re trying to also hopefully encourage people to eliminate these vacant lots,” he said. “Go ahead and develop them or do something with them so they’re not sitting there being kind of a drain on the rest of the community.”

The full City Council is set to take up the solid waste proposal next month.