Ashland considers new fee to support Recycle Center

The Ashland City Council will consider charging residents to support the Recycle Center on Water Street, which costs $155,000 to run each year while bringing in about $20,000 from the sale of recyclables.

The council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Councilors have a range of options to consider for subsidizing the Recycle Center, which so far has been paid for by Recology Ashland Sanitary Service customers through their garbage bills.

The council could charge either a $1.60 monthly fee or a 4 percent monthly fee on garbage customers. The percentage-based fee would have a bigger impact on businesses, which produce more garbage and pay higher bills than residents.

A $1 monthly fee on all city electric customers or a $1.40 fee on city water customers would broaden the number of people who would pay for the Recycle Center beyond garbage customers.

City staff members have not proposed directly charging people who drop off materials at the Recycle Center, which is used by Ashlanders as well as residents from across the Rogue Valley and Northern California.

Collecting fees from people using the center could require adding more attendants, according to workers there.

Councilors also will consider other changes to Recology fees, including increased fees on producers of medical waste and on residents who use infrequent, on-call garbage and recycling pick-up services.

— Vickie Aldous

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