The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved an increase to the 2024 annual Solid Waste fee on Aug. 16, 2023. This includes the collection and disposal of trash, recycling, and yard waste for residents in unincorporated Hillsborough County.
Several economic factors drive the fee increase; however, the most significant is related to the new contracts with haulers for collection. The County awarded new collection contracts in 2021 to three private haulers. The new contracts reflect the current market conditions for labor, equipment, fuel, and other operating expenses, which is a higher cost than the previous collection contracts. The rate increase reflects the actual cost of doing business and serving Hillsborough County residents and businesses.
What services do the residential solid waste assessments pay for?
The assessments pay for the County’s cost of providing the following services for single-family residential customers:
- Two garbage collections per week
- One recycling collection per week
- One yard waste collection per week
- Disposal of up to 10 cubic yards of self-hauled bulky waste (such as furniture and tires) at the five Hillsborough County Community Collection Centers
- Disposal of up to two tons of self-hauled yard waste at the County’s two yard-waste processing facilities
- Disposal of limited quantities of household electronics, paint, and batteries at the five Community Collection Centers
- Convenient Household Hazardous Waste collection events each month
- Learn more in the Solid Waste & Recycling Guide
Why are the solid waste assessments increasing for Fiscal Year 2024 (Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024)?
- Several economic factors drive the assessment increase; however, the most significant is related to the new contracts for collection. The County awarded new collection contracts in 2021 to 3 private haulers. The new contracts reflect the current market conditions for labor, equipment, fuel, and other operating expenses, which is a higher cost than the previous collection contracts. The rate increase reflects the actual cost of doing business and serving Hillsborough County residents and businesses.
- Historically Hillsborough County has had one of the lowest solid waste assessments compared to other area municipalities. While Hillsborough County wants to keep the rates low for its customers, the rate increases reflect the increase in the actual cost of the service and to do business. The County has intentionally not raised rates for several years, but to maintain the same level of service, it is proposing an increased assessment.
- Since 2015, Hillsborough County has added thousands of new customers annually and has recorded a 3% increase in solid waste tons generated annually. As the population and economic development of the community have accelerated, the volume of garbage generated has also significantly increased placing pressure on existing facilities and processes.
- Hillsborough County Solid Waste recognizes all cost increases place an additional burden on residents. Unfortunately, many of the reasons for an increase in cost are out of the County’s control and reflect larger cost trends at the national level. Solid Waste Management prioritizes cost effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation to ensure stewardship of public funds to deliver quality service to residents that also meets regulatory demands.
How much will the new 2024 solid waste assessments be on my November 2023 property tax bill?
- The total BOCC-approved increase per household dwelling unit is $84.72 annually or $7.06 more per household dwelling unit per month.
- This brings the current total annual rate of $352.79 to the new total annual rate of $437.51 per household. This includes:
- The approved 2024 total rate for collection of $284.88 per regular single-family dwelling unit.
- The approved 2024 total rate for disposal of $152.63 per dwelling unit.
How are the assessments paid?
Unlike some other jurisdictions that charge a monthly bill, Hillsborough County property owners are automatically assessed annually each November on their residential property tax bill. There are two separate non-ad valorem assessments, a Solid Waste Collection Assessment for residential curbside collection service, and a Solid Waste Disposal Assessment that pays for the operation of County disposal facilities. All homeowners pay the same rate for services regardless of their property’s size or value.
Are discounts available for senior citizen homeowners?
- Yes. Senior citizens 65 and older may be eligible for a 28.75% discount on their disposal assessment. The discount does not apply to the collection assessment.
- Eligibility and application information for the Senior Citizen Solid Waste Discount are available at HCFLGov.net/Trash or by calling (813) 272-5680.
Does the County have a payment assistance program for low-income families?
- Yes. Hillsborough County Solid Waste offers eligible homeowners financial assistance to help cover a modest portion of their annual Solid Waste Management assessments. Solid Waste Management Hardship/Affordability Credit program is for qualifying low-income homeowners. It is designed to provide up to a $60 credit that will be issued against the solid waste collection and disposal fee for an approved property.
- Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria, must apply and submit all required supporting documentation by July 31, 2024, for the next assessment period of Oct. 1, 2024 - Sept. 30, 2025. If approved, the County will pay a portion of the homeowner's Solid Waste Management Disposal and/or Collection Assessment for the approved year. Residents who have been approved must reapply every year.
What other services are available to single-family residential customers?
- Up to 2 cubic yards of free mulch pickup at the two yard waste sites.
- Apply for a Community Cleanup Grant to receive free containers brought right to your neighborhood for disposal of unwanted waste such as large household items not eligible for normal trash pickup.
- Request a free presentation for your next neighborhood association meeting or community event on recycling, your solid waste services, and how your waste is managed.
Can I cancel my residential solid waste collection services?
No. Residential collection services are mandatory for all single-family residential units in Hillsborough County.