Starting in July, Houstonians will notice a new fee on their monthly water bills — a $1.14 monthly charge for leasing the city’s garbage and recycling bins.
Houston City Council approved the new fee with an 8-to-6 vote (3 members were absent). Previous votes on the issue had been delayed twice.
The monthly fee will be in place for 4 years, and at that time, it will return to the city council for another vote.
The new garbage fee comes at a time when the city is bracing to deal with an increasing budget gap worsened by the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil prices.
While the fee is just over $1, not everyone agrees with it. Councilmember Amy Peck previously argued this was a bad time to hit Houstonians with more fees.
“I realize $1.14 per month is not a lot of money for most homeowners, but it is the principle and it is a slippery slope,” Peck said in a press release. “Unemployment is skyrocketing. People are struggling right now with money, health and uncertainty.”
District J Council Member Edward Pollard was also strongly against the idea, saying that “This is still a fee no matter how you slice it, and we’re asking the public to pay an additional dollar when every dollar counts.”
What do you think of the newly passed garbage and recycling bin fee? Is the $1.14 monthly leasing fee for your garbage and recycling bins reasonable or unfair?