The increase comes after Waste Management, which is contracted by Oak Ridge North, reported a 4.1% increase in the Consumer Price Index, a measure set by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the average change in prices of goods over time, and a 2% increase in fuel surcharge, or the average increase in fuel prices. Oak Ridge North residents currently pay $15.85 in monthly trash fees. Beginning Oct. 1, when fiscal year 2021-22, each household will pay $16.85.
Waste Management cannot increase the cost of services as stated in the contract with the city. However, Waste Management may notify the city when costs of services change so the city can plan ahead for an increase in rates during a contract renewal. Oak Ridge North is in a contract with Waste Management through FY 2021-22 and will have to choose to renew the contract in July 2022, officials said.
"The reality of it is, regardless of when the contract is up, there [are] only so many players, and there is going to only be so many best options for the city," Mayor Paul Bond said during the council meeting.