Monthly trash fees are scheduled to increase for residents and businesses here in an effort to offset the higher cost of diesel fuel.
The across-the-board increase, about 10 percent, will likely go into effect May 1 if the proposal passes muster with the Pinellas Park City Council.
That would increase residential fees by 99 cents a month, from $9.93 to $10.92. It includes two pickups per week of general garbage and one pickup a week for recycled materials.
Businesses are billed on the size of their trash container and the number of pickups. The average Pinellas Park business has a 4-cubic-yard container that is collected once a week for $63.23 a month. That would jump $7.04 per month to $70.27.
The price hike, which council members agreed to in concept during a workshop Tuesday, was requested by Waste Management. The company told city officials that, when it signed the original contract in late 2003, the price of diesel fuel was $1.42 a gallon. Most recently, it was $3.90 a gallon.
This will be the second price increase recently. The cost rose Oct. 1 with the start of the fiscal year, in accordance with the city's contract with Waste Management. The contract expires Sept. 30, 2015.
Jimmy Walker, the city's utility billing director, said the city plans to re-evaluate garbage costs each year. If the price of fuel goes down sufficiently, prices could decline. But if it keeps rising, the cost of trash pickup also could climb.
Even with the hike, Pinellas Park has one of the county's lowest garbage pickup prices because it is so close to the dump site, Walker said.
Seminole also contracts with Waste Management, but has not been contacted about an increase, said Mark Ely, that city's director of community development.