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Pinellas County raises trash rates

It will soon cost cities more to dump their trash

The County Commission recently approved increasing the disposal rate for municipal solid waste, commercial and yard waste by an average of 6 percent beginning Oct. 1.

The rate will increase from $37.50 to $39.75 per ton.

“This is the first rate increase for customers in 30 years and the rate is still the lowest disposal fee in the region,” said Solid Waste Director Paul Sacco. “The average family generating one ton of trash per year will see approximately a $2.25 increase per year.”

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Money from the increase will pay for operations and maintenance expenses previously offset by payments from a 30-year contract with Duke Energy for the construction and operation of the waste-to-energy power plant. The payments are set to expire in 2024, at the end of the contract.

County commissioners will consider additional fee increases during the second public hearing for the fiscal 2020 budget on Sept. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.

The proposed rate/fee increases are:

• Tires from $50.50 to $75 per ton, with no flat rate.

• Car flat rate from $2 to $3 per load.

• Out-of-county municipal solid waste, commercial waste and yard waste from $75 to $79.50 per ton.

The pickup truck and van rate of $10 per load will stay the same, along with the $3 per load rate for up to five Christmas trees.