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WL council approves fee increase for trash pickup

A fee increase is in store for West Lafayette residents. Council members approved an overhaul of the city’s trash code, including a monthly rate increase from $9 to $16.

The new code also gives residents a shorter window to leave their trash containers on the curb. Residents can put their containers out starting at 5 p.m. the day before collection and must remove them by 11 p.m. after pickup.

Councilor Steve Dietrich (R-At Large) says he fought to make an exception for yard waste.

"It just didn't seem logical to me to ask them to touch that - the sticks, the yardwaste, or whatever it is - two times: once to clean it up in the yard, to put it someplace on a temporary basis, then haul it back out. It seemed to make much more sense to me to ask them to put it in proper containers, deal with it one time, and they're done."

The fee increase is the first since 1993 and takes effect on July 1.

The council removed a requirement for permanent lids on trash containers and added an exemption for low-income residents.

However, Councilor Vicki Burch (R-Dist. 4) voted against the ordinance because of its potential for negative economic impacts. She argues the cost to residents could be lower.

"When State Representative Randy Truitt served on the council [until 2008], they were discussing trash fee increases at that time. And at that time, $14.25 would have covered the cost for the Street and Sanitation Department."

City officials say they will now work on notifying West Lafayette residents before the measure takes effect.

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