In the same month that Waste Corporation of America (WCA) announced its pickup service in Wharton for small residential piles of limbs would not be serviced at this time, it is now proposing a rate hike to residents and commercial businesses.

The reason for the disruption in service, WCA said, was COVID-19 exposure in the Bay City facility earlier this month. Only residential garbage and heavy trash would be collected until further notice.

The Wharton City Council will consider acting on the WCA rate modification during a regular meeting scheduled Monday, Aug. 24.

In a letter from WCA Municipal Sales Manager Trevor Royal, it read that an annual rate adjustment on the anniversary date of WCA’s contract with the City of Wharton was based on the most recently published CPI-U data rating.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPI-U means Consumer Price Index For All Urban Consumers and it measures the changes in the “price of a basket of goods and services purchased by urban consumers.” The CPI has a variety of intricacies and is based on many different products and services, including garbage and trash collections services.

According to WCA, in May 2020, the CPI-U was 494.946 versus 480.865 for May 2019.

“It’s an increase of 2.8 percent,” Royal said in a June 17 letter to City Manager Andres Garza. “Effective October 1, 2020 the current rate of all trash services will be increased upon approval by city council.”

When Garza addressed this matter with Finance Director Joan Andel earlier this week, it amounted to less than a dollar for each residential and commercial customer in Wharton.

“This will result in an increase to the residential customers of 58 cents per month while commercial customers will increase 76 cents per month,” Garza said.

According to the City of Wharton, when tacking on the 2.8 percent Royal brought up, the increase goes from the current residential rate of $20.81 to $21.39, and for commercial from $27.14 to $27.90.

However, for commercial bins, the price varies depending on the pickup times per week and the yardage.

The council, if it does approve the item, will agree to amend a franchise agreement for a third time. An agreement between WCA and the City of Wharton was signed Oct. 1, 2018 and was amended Oct. 1, 2019.

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