City advises Water Resources customers of $5.00 ‘Solid Waste Fee’ on water billing effective Jan. 1, 2019

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Effective Jan. 1, 2019, all customers of the Murfreesboro Water Resources Department (MWRD) will notice a newly-assessed $5.00 Solid Waste Fee (pergarbage container) that will be included in the utilities’ monthly billing. The City has budgeted for the Solid Waste Fee to be collected beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

The Murfreesboro Council has approved a $5.00 per container fee as a partial recovery of the cost of handling solid waste.

The $5.00 per month, per container fee, will not fully recoup the expenses of operating City Solid Waste services. It is the beginning of a process to separate waste collection out of theCity’s general fund to become a “self-supporting service.” In the future, with the closing of Middle Point Landfill, the added cost of addressing the City’s disposal services will include thegoal of eventually recovering the full cost of solid waste collection.

“The goal is for this department to become a self-sustaining enterprise fund,” said Utility Enterprises Division Director Darren Gore. “This includes the implementation of a long-term solid waste management solution; a solution the City and County are currently working todevelop.”

MWRD currently has approximately 20,000 customers who will be included in the billing of the additional $5.00 Per Container Solid Waste Fee.

As part of the billing mechanism, Consolidated Utility District (CUD) customers will also be included in the $5.00 billing. CUD currently has just over 17,500 water customers who will be included in the billing of the additional $5.00 Solid Waste Fee.

“We know that solid waste disposal is the largest environmental concern facing bothMurfreesboro and Rutherford County,” said William Dunnill, General Manager of Consolidated Utility District. “This fee is a modest increase compared to the typical cost of waste pickup for most households and businesses. Plus, it shows cooperation between the utilities as we managed the rapid growth of our city.”

In October 2018, the City Council authorized the Solid Waste Department to hire Nashville- based Jackson Thornton CPA to conduct a study to analyze solid waste fees necessary for full cost-recovery when Middle Point Landfill closes, and the city will begin shipping waste out of the county.

Darren Gore reviewed with the City Council a look into the future regarding municipal solid waste disposal options and associated expenses over the next fifteen (15) years. The PowerPoint presentation can be reviewed at www.murfreesborotn.gov/solidwaste but can be summarized as follows:

• There is a need for a “user fee” to fund solid waste collection and disposal as a utility due to Middle Point Landfill closing.

• A user fee of $5 per month per container has been approved by the City Council. This fee does not recover current costs to serve the citizens with municipal solid waste collection and disposal. A 15-year rate design has been developed to anticipate future revenue requirements when Middle Point landfill closes.

• Design criteria are being developed to determine what developments qualify for City solid waste collection and disposal services.

• On-going study and investigation into alternative disposal options will continue. Emerging technology and innovative solutions will be explored, and public input received.

Water customers who have questions about the new Solid Waste fee on their water bill should call the Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department at 615-893-3681 or e-mail Joey Smith, director of Solid Waste.

For information on the new fee included in billing statements for Consolidated Utility District customers, contact Brett McArdle or visit the CUD website at www.cudrc.com for more information.

For more information on Murfreesboro Solid Waste, visit the departmental website at www.murfreesborotn.gov/solidwaste.

For City News online, visit www.Murfreesborotn.gov.