Uptick in diesel fuel costs behind 5% Rifle trash rate increase, refuse provider says

Mountain Waste & Recycling collects recycling Tuesday morning in Rifle.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Refuse and recycling rates residents pay in Rifle are rising.

Mountain Waste & Recycling, Rifle’s contracted refuse provider, reports that increases in fuel costs are determining factors behind its new rate adjustment.

According to the contract agreement made between the city and Mountain Waste in 2017, the refuse service can legally make annual rate adjustments without further approval from Rifle City Council.

Mountain Waste District Manager Bill Cira told Rifle City Council last week there were “a lot of expenses hitting us over the past year.”

“Our frontline team, they have been feeling the pressure of expenses,” he said. “In order to keep that team solid and consistent and provide good service to the city, we have adjusted pay by 15% this year already.”

Going into effect Jan. 1, 2023, refuse and recycling rates will increase by 5% for Rifle residents. This means Rifle customers will pay anywhere between 72 cents to $3.30 more annually than what they’re paying now.

In 2021, Mountain Waste was paying $3.08 a gallon of diesel fuel, which has now risen to $5.11 per gallon. That’s a 66% increase, Cira said.

Data provided by Mountain Waste shows that the majority of what they pick up in Rifle is disposed of in Denver. Mountain Waste District Sales Manager Doug Goldsmith said, for recycling alone, they take 18 tons from the valley to Denver each day.

“We realize it’s not under your control, and we want to support you,” City Council Member Brian Condie said. “Don’t hesitate if fuel costs get out of control, we’ll support you.” This marks the second time since 2020 Rifle has increased its sanitation rate. The city itself increased sanitation services by 7.5% with aims of replenishing dwindling sanitation reserves.


Current rates

  • 96 gallon initial cart: $20.77
  • 64 gallon initial cart: $18.59
  • 96 gallon additional cart: $16.37
  • 64 gallon additional cart: $13.98
  • Residential 2-YD container: $63.90

New rates

  • 96 gallon initial cart: $22.53
  • 64 gallon initial cart: $20.16
  • 96 gallon additional cart: $17.76
  • 64 gallon additional cart: $15.16
  • Residential 2-YD container: $69.38

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