The City of Charlotte held a public forum last week to discuss a proposal to eliminate the provision of trash service for residents of multi-family communities starting later this year. City staff began considering this following the release of a consultant’s report in March of 2013, and estimates that eliminating multifamily pickup will result in an annual savings of about $3.5 million. They also point out that many cities already fail to offer this service.
The apartment residents and condominium owners in attendance, however, voiced their opposition to this proposal, calling it discriminatory and patently unfair. Some pointed out that single-family homeowners are already seeing already have the cost of their trash pickup highly subsidized. Currently, it costs the City about $186 annually to collect trash at each single-family residence, and owners pay an annual fee of $25. For multi-family units (rented or owned) it costs the City about $55 per year, and the fee per unit is also $25.
At the February 1st meeting of City Council’s Environment Committee, the proposal seemed to garner support with committee members, who referred it to the Budget Committee for further consideration. Since that time there has been increased grumbling from residents who would be affected by the measure.
Last week’s meeting was an opportunity for citizens to ask questions and air concerns. During the course of the event, many questions were raised, but few were answered. Members of the staff collected all inquiries and intends to provide a written response that should be posted by this Friday, March 4th. After it becomes available, we will follow up with a link to the information.
A second community forum on this issue is scheduled for 11:00 am on Friday, March 11th, in Room 267 of the Government Center, 700 East 4th Street.