Garbage rates to increase for some businesses

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 25, 2016


NATCHEZ — Some Waste Pro USA business customers will soon see an increase in rates.

Waste Pro Municipal Marketer Doug Atkins said beginning Dec. 1, businesses that were previously billed approximately $13 for twice-weekly trash pickup service through Natchez Water Works will now pay $25 for once-a-week pickup.

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The Natchez Board of Aldermen recently authorized Waste Pro to bill business customers rather than go through Water Works for billing, as is residential billing. The ability to independently bill businesses is an option Waste Pro has in its contract with the city.

Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith, chair of the city’s utilities committee, said at the board of aldermen meeting Tuesday that the city was unaware Waste Pro would raise its rates

Many businesses, especially downtown, have been paying the residential rate because that is how they were listed in Water Works customer database, Smith said.

Waste Pro then discovered some of the customers were businesses rather than residents, and the company has discussed independently billing businesses in previous years but has not done so until now, Smith said.

Atkins said Waste Pro decided to raise the rates out of a need to generate more revenue.

“We were losing money,” he said.

Some businesses generate more trash than residences, and by only receiving the residential rate for the pickup, the company began losing money, Atkins said. The city, which has to pay for the disposal of the trash, was likely losing money, too, Atkins said.

“Obviously, it depends on the business,” he said. “A restaurant is going to generate more (trash) than an accountant’s office with one person there.”

Smith said she has always thought the amount of trash generated balanced out between residences or businesses that generate far less than those than generate more.

“We didn’t know that they would be raising rates, but I understand that they don’t need to lose money,” she said. “Certainly, the business owners have the right to go to other carriers and get prices for contracts.”

Atkins said businesses that currently have Dumpsters would not be affected by the rate increase.