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Why should an eco-conscious household pay the same water, sewer and garbage collection rates as everybody else? How are rates determined?

Ken Little
StarNews

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority does not determine rates for trash or storm water, said CFPUA spokeswoman Carey Ricks.

“Those are services provided by the city of Wilmington and included in CFPUA’s bills with revenue collected for those services sent to Wilmington,” Ricks said.

As for water rates, “Our tiered system was set up to do exactly as described by your reader and provide essential water at the lowest practicable cost. Households using minimal amounts of water are billed in a tier that costs less than consumption at higher levels and within higher tiers,” Ricks said.

Ricks provided a more detailed explanation:

“To illustrate, the first tier for water use from 0 to 9,000 gallons is $2.22 per thousand gallons. As consumption increases into the second tier of 9,000 to 18,000 gallons, that consumption is charged $3.36 per thousand gallons, and over 18,000 gallons is charged at a rate of $4.50 per thousand.”

By way of example, Ricks cited two households, both containing the region’s average of two to three people per household:

“If household A is very conservative and uses little water, as does approximately 85 percent of our customers, their consumption will be charged in the first tier and to some degree into the second tier. Household B, also with two to three persons but using large amounts of water, will be charged according to their inclining usage within the thresholds of the inclining tiers. As they use more water, they are billed according to the rates for that corresponding, inclining tier.”

City of Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert weighed in on the trash section of the question:

“The city’s pickup rates vary depending on the amount of trash you dispose of: a mini cart is $20 a month; a maxi cart is $24.40 a month; each additional maxi cart is $10.25 a month; and twice a week pickup with the maxi cart is $38.65 a month.”

Each trash bag that will not fit into a full trash cart requires a prepaid orange extra trash sticker, at $1.20 each, to be attached.

Along with trash pickup, the city’s service includes include weekly recycling and yard waste collections, as well as weekly call-in bulky collection, Talbert said.

She added: “The recycling program will collect most paper products, any plastic container labeled #1-7, all metal food and beverage containers, and all glass food and beverage containers.”

“A small ‘eco-conscious’ household that recycles everything possible should be able to reduce their trash needs and thus reduce the amount that has to go to the landfill, as well as their solid waste bill,” Talbert said.

As for stormwater, the city charges a base flat rate of $5.30 per month to single-family properties, Talbert said.

Larger commercial-type properties that are required to construct and maintain stormwater ponds, infiltration basins and similar stormwater retention areas have the option of applying for a credit on their bill “as long as they have met the conditions of their permit and complete the application process,” Talbert said.

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