LORAIN — Garbage bills will drop $7.44 annually with the city taking over billing.
The bills had previously come from Republic Services, the company that collects residents’ garbage. Garbage billing is now part of water and sewer billing and bills should arrive later this week.
Average monthly bills are between $17 and $18 including a fuel surcharge, according to Mayor Chase Ritenauer. Customers 65 or older who earn $20,800 annually or less, are eligible for a discount rate.
Ritenauer said the savings are because Republic is now billing the city rather than sending out quarterly bills. While savings are minimal, Republic Ritenauer said Republic — which has about 20,000 customers — will now pick up all trash even if customers aren’t paying their bills.
Ritenauer said uncollected trash is a frequent complaint of residents and a health hazard. Residents who don’t pay their bills will have their water and sewer service shut off, which is the current procedure.
Some customers who spend part of the year in second homes outside Lorain worried about being overcharged. However, Ritenauer said customers with dual residences can request turnoffs for a minimum of 30 days. Residents who get a turnoff will be credited on their bills and water use cannot exceed 750 gallons per month during the turnoff.
Ritenauer said cities like North Ridgeville have 90-day turnoff minimums, but Republic’s minimum was 30 days.
“We’re going to do 30 for now,” he said. “If it becomes an issue, might we re-look at it? Sure.”