ANGOLA — Members of the Angola Common Council approved a 1.53% rate adjustment from Republic Services on its waste and recycling contract dated June 6, 2016.

James Smith, municipal sales representative with Republic, said recycling has become such a problem, with things continuing to get worse.

“We’re looking to get a little more money,” he said.

It’s not just an Angola problem. In a letter Smith provided to the council, it stated recycling services nationally are broken with commodity values plummeting because China stopped importing recycled materials.

“We as a result are struggling to manage the recyclables in a manner that maintains the current recycling service at economically viable levels,” Smith’s letter says.

Republic imposed significant recycling increases to its customers around the lakes in Steuben County this spring.

In January, Smith presented numbers about recycling and waste collection to the council. Almost 500 tons of recycling alone were picked up in Angola in 2018.

The letter also says the current recycling service, costing $3.62 per month per home, is leaving Republic with a $2.27 per month deficit.

The request is to add half the deficit amount, or $1.13 per month to the current recycling charge.

The bid contract says Republic is allowed to ask council annually to review rate compensation based on certain circumstances with the understanding that council has sole authority in considering a request and that rates may escalate no more than 80% of the percent change in the municipal cost index.

The American City and County website shows MCI is up 1.91% for January 2018 to January 2019. The 80% cap of change in the MCI allows the 1.53% rate increase.

“The charges can remain the same at $3.62 per month if collection service is reduced to every other week,” the letter reads.

“We’ve discussed recycling every two weeks or not,” said Hickman. “That said, we would have to rebid the whole thing, but we can look more into it in May.”

Discussion came up about possibly going to bi-weekly collection, but problems mentioned included knowing if residents will remember what week collection is or not.

Armstrong said those committed to recycling already will most likely remember what day their bin will be picked up.

The next question, after approval was granted, was whether the city passes that cost onto the consumer or eats the cost.

Councilman Dave Martin was the one to ask, with Clerk-Treasurer Deb Twitchell saying it’s something the council will have to discuss at an upcoming meeting.

The next council meetings are July 1 and July 15 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.

Republic’s letter states the increased rate adjustment would be for a one-year period starting July 1.

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