Sykesville May Adopt Usage-based Trash Fee

June 12, 1991|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

SYKESVILLE — Town officials and the Sykesville Business Association expect to hammer out an agreement on commercial trash collection and Dumpster rental fees at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Town House.

The SBA discussed on June 5 the town's two alternative proposals to the current system of charging businesses with Dumpsters a rental fee.

SBA President Joy Baker told the Town Council Monday that the group preferred the second alternative.

"We had 15 businesses represented at our meeting last week," she said. "We prefer the second alternative, but we want a workshop meeting with the town to work out the details."

The proposed alternative would identify town businesses that use the containers as light, medium or heavy generators of trashinstead of charging a monthly rental fee according to Dumpster size.

Apartment complexes of three to five dwellings would be considered a commercial use, with each additional five apartments being classified as light users.

Heavier industrial users would not be included in the user fee but would negotiate with the town and be charged onan individual basis.

The proposed monthly fees are: light, $7; medium, $28; and

heavy, $56, based on twice-weekly pickup.

"What we asked for was the SBA to come up with a very minimal fee to cover the tipping fees," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher, who developed the proposals.

"The second proposal scraps the current system and charges a fee based on usage. From that, we came up with a list ofbusinesses and their usage and came up with enough to cover the tipping fees," he said.

The first alternative would increase the $10 per cubic yard Dumpster fee to $12 per cubic yard.

The town rents out Dumpsters in 1- , 2- and 3-cubic-yard sizes.

The town needs money to cover the county's landfill tipping fee of $15 per ton as well as the cost of 14 to 16 new Dumpsters for the downtown area in the 1992 fiscal year.

The town initially estimated that tipping fees, purchases and maintenance would cost $19,500 for fiscal 1992. But Schumacher said the town expects to reduce tipping fees through its recycling program and now plans to collect only $18,000 from the business community.

Town Sanitation Supervisor Randy Hughes has said that his department picks up some 900 tons from both businesses and residences annually.

"We have about 60 businesses and 900 residential units, and each is generating the same amount of trash," Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. said. "There is an inequity there, and towns address it by assessing businesses a collection fee."

Schumacher said the businesses could contract for an outside hauler to pick up their trash, as the county's seven other municipalities do.

Private contractors charge an average of $60 per month to pick up a 2-cubic-yard Dumpster, Schumacher noted, as compared with the town's fee of $20 for that size.

If the town and SBA can reach an agreement on collection fees Monday, Schumacher will prepare an ordinance to be introduced at the July 8 Town Council meeting.

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