Garbage bill could be based on amount of trash you generate

Garbage bill could be based on amount of trash you generate

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The City of Orlando is trying to figure out how to become a "greener" city. One of the things they will consider is charging people for garbage based on the amount of trash they generate.

Currently in Orlando, those at every residence pay the same amount for garbage collection. City Sustainability Director John Ippel says changing to a system where you "pay as you throw" could help reduce the amount of garbage in the city.

"As you're thinking more about how much you are using, you're better encouraged to recycle rather than throw it into the garbage," he said.

Ippel says his home recycles as much as possible, and if it would cut your trash bill down, you might too.

"We're composting all our organic material like our food waste, and then anything else that can be recycled, recycled. So I can say on a good day you know, we have maybe a foot of garbage in the bottom of our bin, and our recycling bin is near full."

There are two potential ways the city is looking at making this work based on how it is done in some other cities across the country.

First, since the city already has mechanical garbage trucks, they could add scales to the arms of those trucks. When your garbage is put into the truck, it would be weighed and recorded, and then you would be charged accordingly.
Ippel says the more likely option would be to give residents the choice of getting rid of those 96-gallon trash bins everyone has today.

"Maybe we would offer a variety of different sizes. So if you had a smaller bin that could allow for less garbage in there," he said.  "Then maybe you would be charged a lower rate for that bin."

The proposal is in the early stages, and there are still a lot questions to be asked, one of which would be how to manage charging apartment complexes and their residents.

The city hopes to put something more concrete together for a proposal in the next year to two years to try and reduce the amount of waste generated in the city.

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