Council Approves Fee Increases For Stormwater, Largest Garbage Bins

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Water recedes as it is drained from the San Antonio River Walk. Photo by Scott Ball.

Water recedes as it is drained from the San Antonio River.

San Antonio residents will pay more for plus-sized garbage bins and hard surfaces on their properties after City Council approved two fee changes as part of its 2019 budget.

Council members unanimously approved a fee hike for the City’s Solid Waste Management Department that targets the largest size of brown garbage bins while reducing fees for smaller bins.

Monthly fees for the 96-gallon garbage bins would rise more than $4 from $22.44 to $26.76 on Oct. 1, when the City’s 2019 fiscal year begins. Monthly rates for the medium 64-gallon and small 48-gallon bins would go down 93 cents – from $19.69 to $18.76 and from $17.69 to $16.76.

The idea is to encourage greater adoption of recycling, Solid Waste spokesman Marcus Lee said Wednesday.

Solid Waste is striving for a 60 percent recycling rate in single-family homes by 2025. The recycling rate for the 2018 fiscal year stands at 32.3 percent, Lee said.

Residents of single-family homes will see these charges included in their CPS Energy bills, with the City relying on the electric and gas utility’s billing department to collect the fees. The garbage fees also fund recycling and compost bin collection.

Also on Thursday, Council members unanimously approved an increase in the City’s stormwater fee by 2 percent.

The City charges a monthly stormwater fee to fund drainage projects and work like street-sweeping that reduces the pollution that runs off into creeks and rivers. These charges appear on residents’ San Antonio Water System bills.

The fees are based on the percentage of impervious cover – asphalt, concrete, and roofs – on a property. The formula differs for residential and non-residential properties and is detailed on the City’s website.

City staff anticipates the higher fees will bring an additional $6,088,594 to Solid Waste’s operating and maintenance fund and an additional $1,012,259 to fund stormwater operations.

4 thoughts on “Council Approves Fee Increases For Stormwater, Largest Garbage Bins

  1. All the city manager has to do is ask for fee increases and the city council is more than ready to comply. When will they become more aware that San Antonio is a low wage city, plus ranks higher than most in the united states in the poverty rate.
    Yet again, here comes another fee increase based on a narrative to encourage recycling.
    Then stormwater runoff is another fabrication of how bad run off is and how it needs to be controlled.

    • What are you talking about?
      We are forbidden by ordinance from swimming in our river because of the levels of pollution (animal waste and oil on the roads among other things).
      I live near the river and it is astonishing and heartbreaking to see the enormous amount of trash – cups, straws, tires, cigarettes, shoes, plastic bags, toys, styrofoam, plastic everything and on and on – that dump in the water and along the banks after even the lightest rain.
      We need more self- awareness (yes, you, Ralph) and more funding.
      I support the increase.

  2. For the record, both Councilman Perry and Councilman Brockhouse have publicly stated that they are against these fee increases that nickel-and-dime residents to death.

    But then they vote to approve them anyway. In fact they vote for higher fees at the very next opportunity after publicly decrying them.

    Councilman Perry, Dec 7, 2017 : “In the last 10 years, residents have seen increases of their Stormwater fees, Solid Waste fees, Parks Environmental fees, CPS rates, and in their property taxes. Our neighbors need relief from the constant barrage of governmental rate and fee increases, and we owe it to them to look inward and be better fiscal stewards of their hard-earned dollars.”

    Pay attention to who grandstands about SAWS bills next month when the 2019 rate increases are announced. And then remind those politicians that they just voted to increase your SAWS bill via higher fees that go to the City.

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