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Home > City User Fee Payments > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

User Fees Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why a User Fee?
  2. A user fee allows the City to charge All property owners a fair and equitable rate for the solid waste and recycling service that they receive. Without the user fee, tax dollars would be required to pay for these services as they have been in the past. Now instead of only 60% of the waste generators paying 100% of the services, everyone shares in the cost.
  1. Aren't I Being Taxed Twice?
  2. NO! The costs associated with the collection, processing and proper disposal of the City's solid waste and recyclables will be paid for from the user fee. These fees are placed into an Enterprise Fund. The dollars from this fund are ONLY generated through the user fees that are collected. The fund is NOT subsidized by your tax dollars, nor will the General Fund budget be supported by the funds generated from the user fees.
  1. How did garbage service change under the User Fee?
  2. Improvements in customer service in both the residential and commercial sectors will be seen immediately. In addition to enhanced customer service there will be improved recycling services. The improvements to the recycling services will include the collection of all recyclable materials each week instead of the every other week schedule that was the case in the past.
  1. Why is the city charging for vacant lots?
  2. Vacant lots generate waste (grass clippings, leaves, refuse, etc.) if they are maintained properly. The amount of waste generated is estimated to be one half of what the single home would generate for six months. If a vacant lot is not maintained properly, then the City must return these properties to a condition that is acceptable under the City's codes.
  1. Do I have to pay separately for a lot that is attached to my property?
  2. If you own a vacant lot next to your home, and you receive two tax bills, you will be sent two bills which you are required to pay unless you combine the parcels. If the title on your deeds match, you can combine the two properties at the Assessor's Office at City Hall. This is a FREE service. Combinations where the titles do not match can be combined through the Erie County Clerk's Office.
  1. What is the fixed portion fee?
  2. The fixed portion of the user fee is the overhead of operating the trucks and maintaining the operation thought out the city.
  1. What is the variable portion of the user fee?
  2. The variable portion of the bill is the cost of disposing of the garbage collected and is billed on the basis of the volume of refuse that your tote can contain.
  1. How do I get a different tote?
  2. Contact the Citizen Services Complaint Line at 851-4890 or submit a request over the Internet.
  1. Can I purchase my tote?
  2. No. The tote is owned by the city and is allocated to the property.
  1. I have requested a different tote, and have not yet received it. Am I being billed for the old tote?
  2. No. You are being billed for the tote you have requested.
  1. When can I expect my new tote to be delivered?
  2. We are delivering replacement totes as quickly as possible.
  1. What should I do if my tote breaks?
  2. Contact the Citizen Services Complaint Line at 851-4890 or submit a request over the Internet.
  1. Do you accept payments by phone?
  2. No, but you can pay in person, pay through the mail, or on-line at this web site .
  1. What kinds of materials should not be disposed of in my tote?
  2. Hazardous materials (Paint cans, industrial chemicals) should not be disposed of using the tote, and may result in your receiving a citation for improper use of the tote.
  1. When is my payment due?
  2. Payment must be received within forty five days of the billing date.