Starting Jan. 1, 2019, all customers of the Murfreesboro Water Resources Department and certain CUD customers will be required to pay a $5 Solid Waste Fee (per garbage container) that will be included in the utilities' monthly billing.
The Murfreesboro Council has approved a $5 per container fee as a partial recovery of the cost of handling solid waste. Every MWRD customer and more than 17,500 Consolidated Utility District customers will also be included in the $5 billing.
The $5 per month, per container fee, will not fully recoup the expenses of operating City Solid Waste services. It is the beginning of a process to separate waste collection out of the City's general fund to become a "self-supporting service."
"We know that solid waste disposal is the largest environmental concern facing both Murfreesboro and Rutherford County," said William Dunnill, General Manager of Consolidated Utility District. "This fee is a modest increase compared to the typical cost of waste pickup for most households and businesses. Plus, it shows cooperation between the utilities as we managed the rapid growth of our city."
In the future, with the closing of Middle Point Landfill, the added cost of addressing the City's disposal services will include the goal of eventually recovering the full cost of solid waste collection.
"The goal is for this department to become a self-sustaining enterprise fund," said Utility Enterprises Division Director Darren Gore. "This includes the implementation of a long-term solid waste management solution; a solution the City and County are currently working to develop."
In October 2018, the City Council authorized the Solid Waste Department to hire Nashville-based Jackson Thornton CPA to conduct a study to analyze solid waste fees necessary for full cost-recovery when Middle Point Landfill closes, and the city will begin shipping waste out of the county.
Why the fee is needed
Darren Gore reviewed with the City Council a look into the future regarding municipal solid waste disposal options and associated expenses over the next 15 years.
Here are the highlights:
- There is a need for a "user fee" to fund solid waste collection and disposal as a utility due to Middle Point Landfill closing.
- A user fee of $5 per month per container has been approved by the City Council. This fee does not recover current costs to serve the citizens with municipal solid waste collection and disposal. A 15-year rate design has been developed to anticipate future revenue requirements when Middle Point landfill closes.
- Design criteria are being developed to determine what developments qualify for City solid waste collection and disposal services.
- On-going study and investigation into alternative disposal options will continue. Emerging technology and innovative solutions will be explored, and public input received.
Water customers who have questions about the new Solid Waste fee on their water bill should call the Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department at 615-893-3681 or e-mail Joey Smith, director of Solid Waste at email@example.com.