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West Valley City officials aim to reduce waste with new sanitation fee

Thursday, February 21, 2013871 views

City officials have added a new sanitation fee for anyone that requires delivery of a garbage can after service has been reinstated.

The $25 fee covers the costs for sanitation crews to deliver garbage cans to homes after the bins were removed due to a disconnection of service for nonpayment, or a voluntary temporary suspension.

West Valley Public Works Director Russ Willardson said the new fee, implemented Jan. 21, was only added as a way to cover the costs of delivery service and reduce time wasted by sanitation crews.

“This isn’t something that will affect a lot of people,” he said. “The intent was to address that need and recover the costs. It costs us money to pick up and re-deliver [the cans].”

Last fall, West Valley City took over billing for sanitation service and storm water fees from Rocky Mountain Power. It was the first time the city has ever sent or collected on utility bills sent to residents.

Previously, Rocky Mountain Power collected the costs for city services as line items added to customers’ power bills.

After the switch, sanitation fees remained set at $13.30 per one garbage can plus one recycling bin. Additional cans cost $6.45 each. Storm water fees are set at $4 per month per household.

Willardson said the old method of billing had proved inefficient for the city and confusing to residents.

“It was just more difficult for us, being managed by a third party,” he said.

Even with the new billing system and recent change, the total bills for most residents will remain the same, even after the addition of the new fee option.

The sanitation fee will be assessed to anyone who chooses to suspend service temporarily, or who has the cans removed for outstanding amounts due and nonpayment of sanitation bills.

Willardson said sometimes people don’t want to pay for months’ worth of service, and the new fee provides a better alternative.

“We have people who may be headed out of town for the winter and don’t want to pay for months they don’t use [the service],” he said.

The new fee can also be avoided if residents choose to drop off and pick up the cans themselves from the city operations yard at 3600 West 2855 South after service is resumed.

Willardson said it’s easy to keep the lid on garbage fees by making monthly payments automatically with the city by electronic transfer from the bank.

“We’re encouraging people to use our automatic payment option. It just makes it easier to stay on top of their bills and to not get behind,” he said.

Residents may also mail their payment or stop in to City Hall.

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