Harrison city council chamber during Orion Waste Solutions Presentation.

The Harrison city council chamber was full on Thursday evening as the council heard a final presentation from the city’s contracted recycling company, Orion Waste Solution, formally known as Inland Waste Solutions, about their requested 10.23% rate increase and approved the matter with a vote of 7-1.

Harrison Residents can expect their recycling rates to increase by $2.03. Commercial recyclers will see the same percentage increase, but dollar amounts will vary depending on the size of the can they use.

City Councilman Chris Head was the lone councilman to oppose the increase. He spoke to Orion representatives and said he would feel comfortable approving a smaller increase of around 3% but he called the 10% increase “steep.” Head called for “belt tightening” at Orion instead of expecting the citizens of Harrison to compensate them for rising costs.

 Orion said they have made expenditure cuts and the increase they are asking for is less than the full cost increases they have faced in recent months. They also stated that rate increases in Harrison recycling have only increased 4.7% in the last 6 years and even with this increase rates will remain below the monthly cost residents paid in 2012 with Methvin Sanitation.   

Orion representatives have been present at the previous two city council and committee meetings presenting their case for rate increases citing problems locally and globally causing the handling of recycling to increase dramatically. In exchange for the increase they have agreed to work with the city to provide stickers on each recycling can in Harrison to educate residents on what is and is not recyclable in order to help defer future cost increases due to garbage being included in recycling cans. They said the company will spend $15,000 to put a sticker on every recycling can in Harrison and they will continue to work with the city to provide recycling education in other facets as well.

Story by Coleman Taylor