Rising gas prices bring higher sanitation costs in Rifle | PostIndependent.com

Rising gas prices bring higher sanitation costs in Rifle

A garbage bin full with refuse awaits pick up in Rifle on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent


Editor’s note: This story was updated on Nov. 29 to correct the amount diesel fuel increased by. 
Rising gas costs are prompting an increase in waste collection and water meter rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Rifle City Manager Tommy Klein told the Rifle City Council on Wednesday that, in order to keep up with rising costs incurred by Aspen-based company Mountain Waste & Recycling, the city would implement a 7% increase. Residentially, customers in Rifle should see the current monthly refuse rate for a 64-gallon can increase from $18.95 to $20.40.

The first reading of the amendment was passed unanimously.

“Mountain Waste has a contract with us for sanitation,” Klein said. “Every year they review that contract and make adjustments to their costs based on the consumer price index and the cost of diesel fuel, both which have gone up considerably.”

Data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration highlighting the Rocky Mountain regions shows a $1.348 per-gallon increase to on-highway diesel fuel prices compared to 2020.

The city’s sanitation budget adopted in 2021 showed $734,900 in total expenditures.

Mountain Waste collects refuse in Rifle on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

The amendment will also raise the city’s water meter reading from $8 to $20. Typically this is a one-time fee charged when someone is closing on a property and the city is asked to manually read the meter.

“What that fee kind of addresses, is when someone is closing on a property or real estate transaction, the mortgage company will call (the finance department) and ask them to do a reading,” Klein said. “Finance will send someone out to manually read the meter, report back to the finance, finance will make a tabulation to determine what that water bill will be up to a specific date.”

Council member Theresa Hamilton agreed with the notion of raising the rates.

“Mountain Waste has increased our rates and, in order to keep pace, we have to increase the rates for the city,” Hamilton said.


Monthly charges

64-gallon refuse collection

Now: $18.95

Future: $20.40

Water meter reading

Now: $8

Future: $20

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or rerku@citizentelegram.com.

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