Memo for fiscal year 2021, updated 2020-02-20

[Archived] Question # 02: How many commercial customers participate in the City's waste collection service?


How many commercial customers, paying and non-paying, participate in the City's commercial waste collection service and is there potential for more revenue? (City Manager Jinks)


The City provides waste collection service to approximately 250 small businesses operating within residential neighborhoods which pay a commercial refuse fee of $373 per year and approximately 20 commercial businesses near King and Union Streets that utilize a City-owned compactor room on Union Street and pay an equivalent fee to their usage. The City also provides collection to approximately 65 schools, government buildings, and 763 public housing units as well as a number of non-profit and faith-based organizations. These accounts have historically not been charged a fee and thereby covered through the General Fund. T&ES is currently conducting a review of all customers served and its billing status with GIS and the Real Estate Office to conduct a thorough and equitable audit of customers served vs. customers billed. Initial results on the commercial side show as many as 300 unbilled customers receiving service with a potential revenue of over $100,000. Staff are reviewing both unbilled customers on the commercial side as well as reviewing the policy of accounts which have been historically fee exempt to reveal untapped revenues. The review underway will identify all non- paying customers and their status as for- profit, not-for-profit, or faith based. From the results of the review, staff will make a recommendation regarding next steps, including what fee exempting should stay in place, what exemptions should be eliminated, and what the fee rate(s) should be for these commercial accounts where a fee is recommended.

In addition, staff is working closely with the GIS team who have developed an application which will update served and billed customers on an ongoing basis so that the list of customers can be kept always up-to-date.

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