Tonight, the Pierre City Commission heard details about the City’s plan to ensure that Pierre residents are not the only ones paying for the processing and disposal of yard waste and recyclable materials that are managed by Pierre’s solid waste facility.
Currently, the City provides yard waste and recycling bins that anyone can access, whether they are City residents or not. Because the recycling market has changed, the City is asking the Commission for permission to establish fees for non-resident users.
“There was a time when we could just hand our materials off to a recycling company,” said John Childs, City Engineer. “Now we have to pay them to take used cardboard, plastics, tin and other recyclable materials; those prices keep going up.”
Recycling and yard waste operations and disposal have historically been covered by the recycling fee that all City residential utility customers pay with their monthly utility bill. However, with the change of the recycling market, Pierre residents are now subsidizing recycling and yard waste operations for the non-Pierre residents who use the City’s drop off bins.
“We think that’s an inappropriate financial burden to put on our customers,” said Childs.
Consequently, the City is now enclosing its recycling and yard waste bins and asking the Commission’s approval to charge non-Pierre residential utility customers $3 to access those drop off bins.
“This project was approved during the 2019 budget process with the understanding that fees would be established,” said Childs.
If the use fee is approved by the City Commission, non-resident Pierre users will need to pay per load to use the bins. Pierre residential utility customers will be provided an access card to use the drop off bins. Just as before, commercial users will need to cross the scale at the baling facility to pay for disposal.
The Commission is scheduled to vote on the change Tuesday, Aug. 6.