The Borough has heard from many residents concerned about the increase in costs for municipal waste and recycling collection. The Borough of Dormont has a contract with Waste Management to provide these curbside collections to its residents, along with leaf and household hazardous waste services. We are currently entering the fourth year of a five year contract, which had annual escalations built in. Waste collection increased by $5.44 per ton, while recycling increased $7.00 per ton. Additionally, the Borough had been subsidizing the fees collected for this service with real estate taxes, because the fee had not been set at the appropriate level for several years. Since at least 2010, the fee was kept at $160 per year, even though the cost of the service was increasing.
In 2015, Borough Council decided to begin moving back towards a true fee that would cover the contract expense, which would allow real estate taxes to be used for municipal improvements, whether in Police and Fire services, or in badly needed infrastructure projects. Even with the fee increase for 2016, collections still fell over $136,000 short of expenses for waste and recycling collections. 2017 is the first year with a fee set to equal the anticipated expenses of the municipal waste contract.
Based on the amount of waste and recycling Dormont residents have placed at their curbs over the last several years, we anticipate the overall cost to be $734,183 in 2017. There are 3139 units in Dormont, which equates to a per unit annual fee of $233.90, or $19.49 per month. As the fee was set at $190 for 2016, the total 2017 increase is $43, the equivalent of $3.58 per month. Because the Borough has moved to a true fee, residents could see a decrease in future bills if the contract costs decrease, which is expected in 2018.
I encourage everyone to become more involved in our community. These decisions are made in public meetings, which anyone can attend or view online. Your participation in the community is vital to our success.