Killeen residents could find an extra $6 charge to their utility bills if trash cans are placed curbside without the lid being completely closed.
According to the city’s garbage ordinance, bags are required to be secure and placed in city-approved receptacles with the lid completely shut.
Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman, said she wouldn’t characterize residents’ not abiding by the ordinance as frequent, but “it definitely occurs.”
“(It’s) something that we want residents to be aware of so that they can take steps to avoid additional fees,” she said. “It is important that the lid close completely to prevent litter, reduce odor, prevent damage to the can and to keep water and animals out.”
Lids not being shut also disrupts the garbage collection process, causing the driver to unload and reload residents’ garbage cans.
“The city has an automated collection system whereby the driver stays in the collection truck while a mechanical arm lifts and empties the trash can,” Shine said. “If a can is overloaded, the driver must leave the truck, take the trash out of the can until the lid will close, empty the can, then reload the can before emptying it again.”
The $6 fee is a “reloading fee,” according to the city. There is a maximum of two reloads per can, per collection day, and a maximum reloading fee of $12.
After two reloads, if trash remains curbside, a $20 bulk trash collection fee is assessed.
Residents with excess trash have a number of options to avoid being assessed fees, including paying for a larger can.
“The city has a pay-as-you-throw system that offers three can sizes,” Shine said. “Those with less trash can have a smaller can and pay less per month, while those with more trash have a larger can and pay more.”
Residents also have the option of curbside recycling pickup for $2.48 per month or they can make drop-offs at the Killeen Recycle Center, 111 E. Avenue F, for no charge. Residents also can be assigned and pay for an additional trash can.
Residents also can drop off up to 300 pounds of trash a month at the Transfer Station, 12200 State Highway 195, for no charge.
Shine said the city requires trash be bagged before being placed in cans.
Cans must be placed at curbside no later than 7 a.m. on collection day and removed no later than 9 p.m. the same day.