UPDATE: The city of Charlotte, NC announced Monday that it will not eliminate trash collection services for the city's townhouses or condominiums, which would have affected nearly 24,000 and 9,000 residences respectively. However the discussed proposal may still eliminate services from apartments.
If the proposal passes,103,000 apartments may no longer get city trash service as of July 2017, and will instead need to contract with private haulers—which will likely cost more than the $25 each unit was paying the city.
As of Monday, the city did not have an estimate on how much it will save by eliminating these trash services, according to The Charlotte Observer.
- The city of Charlotte, NC is considering eliminating garbage collection from more than 135,000 condominiums, townhouses, and apartments, which would save the city $3.4 million. Charlotte currently foots a $52.4 million garbage collection bill, charging residents $25 a year of that.
- While duplexes, triplexes, and complexes with four units or less would still receive service, the new plan for the remaining residents living in these housing types would probably mean they would pay higher trash pickup fees to their homeowners associations. And Charlotte officials have made no mention of plans to offer a tax cut to compensate for the added expense.
- City officials planned a meeting for today to discuss the issue further. In the meantime, they are working to determine what trash service to continue offering. If the proposal is approved, the plan could take effect later this year.
Charlotte residents have been getting by cheaply at a $25 annual trash fee. The city of Charlotte has estimated if its citizens were accountable for the entire expense, they would pay $186 from their pocket each year. Though apartment dwellers, who use large dumpsters, would pay $55 per unit.
The proposed change is radical; and would likely mean residents will see a huge jump in fees. Low-income residents could be hit the hardest considering substantially higher trash service may make city living no longer an affordable option for some of them.
"Residents should not be punished for their housing choice,” said Bryan Holladay, an employee of Greater Charlotte Apartment Association, to The Charlotte Observer . "It is not equitable that multifamily would only receive some of the city services while single family gets all the city services."
But the high cost to manage trash is a universal reality. And figuring out how to allocate it can be complicated. Municipalities and private haulers are forever working to find a happy medium over the pricing debate.