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Hey, Dallas: Plan on seeing the cost of trash and water going up

Sanitation workers hold on to the back of a trash truck.
Residential garbage is collected once per week in Dallas.

Dallas residents will see higher water and trash pick-up fees if the city council approves the proposed $4.5 billion budget.

Fees are expected to increase for city water, storm drainage and sanitation services. The monthly sanitation fee will go up by 4.4%. Residents will pay a new fee of $35.81.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn says she's concerned that the increase will not go over well with her residents in Far North Dallas district.

“I know we are hearing there are no vehicles to come pick up trash in my district. And nobody likes to get an increase in their fee in sanitation and not get their sanitation picked up,” she said at the city council’s first budget briefing Tuesday.

Mendelsohn said she’s concerned that investments being made are not being reflected. She mentioned that last year the city invested in buying vehicles or so-called fleets to pick up trash. But residents were still calling her complaining about their trash not being picked up.

“I'm wanting to make sure that the proposed budget is going to actually cover all the costs for maintaining the fleet as well as the staff we need, so that we can get the level of service that our residents are expecting,” Mendelsohn said.

City staff said the reason for higher fees is because of rising gas prices and new equipment, and the city's goal to increase the minimum wage for employees.

Storm drainage fees will increase by 40 cents to a monthly bill of $9.22 and water and wastewater services will go up to an average rate of $70.19 a month.

The department of Sanitation Services serves approximately 245,000 households. The Sanitation Services fees cover the cost of providing garbage, brush and bulk trash, and recyclables collection services for Dallas residents.

Fees are collected through monthly utility bills issued by Dallas Water Utilities (DWU).

To learn more about the budget read KERA's guide. The city will host more than 30 town hall meetings from Aug. 11-25. You can find the full list here.

The Dallas City Council will take a vote to adopt the new budget by the end of September. The new budget takes effect October 1st.

Got a tip? Email Alejandra Martinez at You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.