Houston holds line on garbage cost

1STOCK-Houston-Courthouse-logoHOUSTON – Collecting garbage is critical to any community and it costs to get someone to do it.

The Houston Board of Aldermen were notified in December that current garbage pickup provider RES (Resourceful Environmental Services) wants to increase its monthly cart costs to residential customers.

On a motion by Alderman Frank Thomas and a second by Alderman Tony Uhiren the board voted down the price hike.

RES had proposed a 3-percent increase to $11.84 per cart per month with the new fee se to go into effect in February. RES cited operational costs as the need for the price increase.

The City of Houston accepted a bid from RES (Resourceful Environmental Services) in January 2012 for twice-a-week residential garbage pickup at the same price it paid in 2011.

RES was actually charging $11.49 per point of pickup in 2011 and their 2012 bid was $10.86 for twice-a-week service. The city continued to charge residents $12 for garbage service.

Aldermen had looked at once a week pickup in 2012 but decided to keep twice-a-week collection schedule to cut down on litter and illegal dumping.

RES bid $9.75 for once-a-week pickup in 2012. Waste Management bid $7.50 for once-a-week pickup and $10.95 for twice-a-week.

In their letter to the city, RES president Steve Horton of Ripley pointed out RES has worked hard to fulfill their contract and help keep Houston clean.

A major point in RES getting the bid last year was a promise to pickup around garbage carts and use lighter, single axle trucks on city streets.

Houston has 1,520 residential garbage customers who produce roughly 35 tons of garbage a week.

The contract the city signed in 2012 with RES is for six years.

The city reminded residents that residential garbage pickup applies to household garbage only.

The city is not allowed to dispose of any type of chemicals or hazardous materials. Resident who have debris, limbs or other items for disposal are asked to call City Hall and schedule a pickup.

The difference between what the city charges homeowners and RES’ bid is used to subsidize debris pickup by the city.