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Cost of city’s refuse pickup to rise

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For the first time in 12 years, the prices of the city’s refuse stickers and totes are going up as of next week.

The stickers’ cost is increasing from $2.50 to $3 effective Sunday. Residents can still use stickers they purchased for $2.50.

Meanwhile, the city will also charge more for totes. Those changes are: from $3 to $3.50 a week for the 32-gallon trash barrel with wheels; from $4.50 to $5.25 for the 64-gallon tote, and from $6 to $7 for the one that holds 96 gallons of trash.

“This is the first increase in years,” said Eugene P. Hayes, the city’s superintendent of public works.

In 1992, the city started selling trash bags with the city logo on them for $3 apiece for a 32-gallon bag or $2 for a 16-gallon bag. In 1999, the city changed to a sticker system, while lowering the cost from $3 to $2.50.

“You’re going to be paying what we originally charged,” Mr. Hayes said.

Even with the increases, the city’s trash pickup remains competitive with private haulers, he said. The Watertown City Council approved the increases during the 2012-13 budget process. The increases will generate about $134,000 in additional revenue annually.

Mr. Hayes said the city needed to increase the costs to residents to help pay for new equipment.

The revenue will also defray tipping fee increases at the Development Authority of the North Country’s landfill in Rodman and city costs for using Jefferson County’s transfer station in Pamelia, he said.

The stickers can be bought at the city comptroller’s office at City Hall and at convenience and grocery stores and other businesses.

New customers needing the totes — different sizes of trash cans on wheels — can get them at Mr. Hayes’s office at City Hall, 245 Washington St. For three months, the cost of the 64-gallon tote — the city’s most popular — will be $68.25.

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