Phoenix discusses possible price increase on trash and recycling pickup

The City of Phoenix discussed whether to hike the price for trash and recycling pickup on Tuesday.

It would be the first price increase for the recycling department passed in 10 years. The Public Works Department says the rate increase is needed because Phoenix is growing at such a fast rate and they can't keep up. 

Right now, Phoenix households pay $26.80, which includes weekly curbside trash and recycling pickup, but now the city has new options on the table. 

Option 1: Maintain current service levels and increase solid waste, hiking the price by $6.40.

Option 2: Suspend the city's compost program by eliminating curbside green organic collection and stopping operations of the compost facility for all customers, increasing the rate by $5.65.

Option 3: Adjust the collection frequency of recycling containers to every other week, still driving up the price by $5.50. 

Option 4: Suspend the city's recycle and compost programs, meaning all recyclables would be collected as trash and taken to a landfill, increasing the current rate by $4.75.

Public Works officials say if rates don't increase they are looking at $36.5 million in service cuts, a reduction of recycling to every other week and the end of the popular bulk trash pickup. 

"If we don't give them a good tool with bulk pick up, that is going to create a lot more work for our code enforcement, for neighborhood services, with household hazardous waste. that could end up impacting our water supply," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

Residents say even if there is an increase in costs, it is necessary to recycle. 

"Global warming I am quite concerned about that, we are just doing ourselves in," said Sharon, Phoenix resident. 

"If raising the rates will help us help the environment it is pretty important and I feel like an economical standpoint people won't understand the difference but it will have a difference on the environment," said Israel Lamprakes, Phoenix resident. 

The city decided in Tuesday's meeting that they will go into the community to get input from residents. The issue won't be brought up again until January.