Recology Ashland Sanitary Service has requested a 23.3 percent garbage rate increase, but the city of Ashland has asked the company to develop options for spreading the increase over three years while also eliminating a volume discount given to businesses that produce the most trash.

Recology Ashland Sanitary Service has requested a significant garbage rate increase, but the city of Ashland has asked the company to develop options for spreading the increase over three years while also eliminating a volume discount given to businesses that produce the most trash.

As it stands now, garbage customers are subsidizing high-volume trash producers, who can get discounts of up to 45 percent on their bills, according to city staff and Recology documents.

The Ashland City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increase and various options during a meeting that starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

Recology, a San Franciso-based company, bought out Ashland Sanitary Service Inc. in 2009. The renamed Recology Ashland Sanitary Service now has the city-approved franchise to provide garbage and recycling services in town.

Recology is asking for the rate increase so that it can have a 10 percent profit margin, a standard in the industry, city staff said.

According to Recology, it is facing higher costs but is billing less than expected because people are recycling more.

A person with a 32-gallon garbage can for home use pays $16.61 per month for service.

Rates for commercial garbage bins vary based on size and frequency of garbage pick-up.

Under option one — which preserves the high-trash-volume discount — residential customers would see an 8 percent bill increase in 2012, a 4.5 percent increase in 2013 and another 4.5 percent increase in 2014.

Commercial bin users would see 12 percent, 8 percent and 8 percent increases over those three years.

Option four does away with commercial bin volume discounts.

Residential customers would see no increase next year and 3.7 percent increases each year in 2013 and 2014.

Commercial bin customers would face a 30 percent increase next year, and 11.3 percent increases in 2013 and 2014.

For a detailed report and break-down on four different options and impacts on different garbage customers, visit www.ashland.or.us/Files/Recology_Rates%20Atth.pdf.

Other agenda items for Tuesday night's meeting include deciding whether to allow ECOtality North America to install two electric vehicle recharging stations at two downtown parking lots.

Councilors will also decide whether to authorize City Attorney David Lohman to represent the city on any issues regarding the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

Before Lohman was hired as city attorney, he worked at a legal firm where another attorney represented the ski area in a lawsuit against the city of Ashland. The city and ski area are not involved in any current litigation.

Councilors are also scheduled to consider potential changes to city rules affecting the installation of cell phone antennae, and whether to reduce the number of members on the city's Planning Commission and Housing Commission from nine people to seven.

Both commissions have experienced unfilled vacancies in the past year.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=14493.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.