Trash Service

Residential Solid Waste FAQs

Q: What will the cost of trash and recycle pickup be?
A: There are two options to choose from depending on what fits your lifestyle and budget.
Option 1: 2 times a week trash pickup only - $10.71 monthly / $32.13 a quarter.
Option 2: 2 times a week trash pickup & once a week recycle pickup - $18.71 / $56.13 a quarter.

Q: Is recycling required?
A: No, recycling is optional.

Q: How can Apache Junction enforce mandatory garbage for everyone?
A: Per Arizona Administrative Code Title 18, Chapter 13, Article 3, R18-13-305, “where refuse collection service is available, the following refuse shall be required to be collected; Garbage, ashes, rubbish, and small dead animals which do not exceed 75 pounds in weight.”
Both the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code and the Pinal County Environmental Health Code also require residential solid waste collection. In fact, Apache Junction is one of the only cities in the Phoenix valley that does not require solid waste collection through its city code. The city will be able to enforce this through an update to the city code.

Q: How often can Republic Services raise rates?
A: Under the contract, Republic Services cannot arbitrarily raise rates at any time. They will be obligated to place in writing a request to raise rates to the city. This can only be done one time per year and the request to raise rates is required to be in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Water, Sewer and Trash Collection (CPI-U).  City council is also in negotiations to place a cap on any rate increase. In the last ten years, the highest increase per the CPI-U was 6.05% in 2010, increases in recent years have trended around 3.5%.

Q: Are there any additional or hidden fees in and above the $10.71 and $18.71 monthly rates?
A: No, these monthly rates are inclusive of all fees.

Q: How often will I be billed?
A: Payment is due quarterly, however, there is an option to pay annually to receive a 2% discount. All payments are to be made directly to Republic Services.

Q: What is the timing of the transfer of service to Republic Services?
A: It is anticipated that a contract is anticipated to be considered by city council in December 2019 with an expected start date of March 2, 2020. The city and Republic will work to educate residential customers on the new mandated trash services and how to sign up for services beginning shortly after the contract is in effect. Residents should verify with their current hauler that services will end and containers will be removed by Feb. 29, 2020.

Q: How long is the contract with Republic Services?
A: The contract is for an initial 8-year term with two 1-year renewal options for a total of 10 years.
The long term contract is what results in lower rates as it provides the contractor the ability to spread assets and fixed costs across the term of the contract such as the newer model collection trucks required plus the new receptacles for reach residence. The term of the proposed contract is among the best practices seen in other municipalities.  A shorter term contract would result in higher rates.

Q: Can you provide more details on what bulk trash pick-up consists of and includes?
A: Typical bulk trash items may consist of items that do not fit inside the provided garbage container. Common examples are furniture, appliances, large plastic toys, old grills, brush/branches and refrigerators (freon must be removed prior to service). There are restrictions on size which will be provided to residents when information about all of the services are published.

Q: How does one sign up for the curbside bulk trash pickup?
A: If a resident has a need for the curbside bulk trash pickup in any given month, they will be able to call Republic Services to schedule it. This once a month service available to residents is included in the monthly price.

Q: Can we protect our residents in March when they transition from WM or RAD from getting charged an extra surcharge for “changing”?
A: While staff is not 100% sure if trash service providers charge for container pick up upon cancellation of services, it is not anticipated that the other providers would charge a fee for cancellation unless there is a contract in place. Staff spoke to RAD and the customer service agent stated they do not charge a fee to pick up bins when a customer cancels service.

Update November 2019: It has been brought to staff’s attention that RAD recently added a $30 container removal fee to its customer’s bills.  These are the types of practices that a contract can help address or eliminate altogether.

Q: Will Republic work with winter visitors on a 3-month winter visitor deal?
A: As written in their response to the RFP, “upon request, Republic will set accounts to a reduced vacation hold for up to 6 months a year”.

Update November 2019: The proposed contract with Republic Services has a seasonal service suspension for up to 6 months at no charge to accommodate winter residents.

Q: What about the HOAs who have a contract with other providers?
A: The city will honor any contracts HOA’s have in place until the expiration date at which time they will need to transition to Republic Services.

Q: How will AJ make it work for residents who generate little to no weekly trash?
A: Residents are only obligated to put out their containers when there is material to be disposed of and they may choose to place their container out only one of the two days per week it is scheduled for pick up. It is important to note that all residential residents in the city share in the cost of these services under the contract and according to staff research and feedback received from residents, the rates being proposed are lower than any current provider’s pricing.

Q: Are residential rental properties considered commercial or residential?
A: For the purposes of this contract, single-family, duplex, triplex, and four-plex residential units (rental or owner-occupied) are considered residential and fall under the provisions of the solid waste contract. Only mobile home parks with contracts for solid waste services in place and residential dwellings over 4 units are considered commercial.

Q: If I rent a home or a unit in a duplex, triplex, or four-plex, is it my responsibility or the owner’s responsibility to pay for the cost of trash services?
A: All renters should refer to their lease or rental contract to determine if they are liable for the cost of trash services; whether it is included in their monthly rent or not. Any discussion or negotiation on this should take place between the tenant and the homeowner or landlord.
Q: If I own a 4-plex and only have 4 tenants do I still have to pay for 4 trash containers or can we combine trash?
A: The low rates offered through the contract are based on the assumption that all residential units share in the cost equally. The cost is based on residential units, not the number of tenants within each unit. The number of refuse and recycling containers is negotiable with Republic Services. In addition, Republic Services also offers a 2-yard dumpster available for these multi-unit types of residential properties in lieu of individual refuse containers. A 2-yard dumpster is the equivalent of 4 refuse containers.

Rates for 1x a week dumpster service is based on size and are as follows:
  • 2-yard $34.64 per month
  • 4-yard $69.28 per month
  • 6-yard $103.92 per month
Q: How are we going to verify that residents continue their services?
A: On a routine basis, the city in conjunction with Republic Services will conduct an audit to determine which residential dwellings (single-family residences, duplex, triplex, and four-plex) are not subscribed to trash services.

Q: What will the 8% administrative fee included in the monthly rate be used for?
A: The revenue is anticipated to cover costs associated with the two annual household hazardous waste events the city hosts each year and for contract oversight by city staff.  

Q: Will the Republic Landfill still offer free quarterly dump weeks after these services go into effect?
A: Yes, the city will continue to have free quarterly dump weeks.

Q: Since Republic will have more properties to pick garbage up from, will they need to hire more people?
A: Republic Services is always hiring qualified individuals with a passion for customer service and safety. They anticipate the need to add to their workforce to service the entire city. Anyone interested can apply online at http://republicservices.jobs/.

Q: Will manure disposal be a part of the service provided by Republic Services?
A: While manure disposal was not part of the RFP or contract, Republic Services will provide the service to residents upon request for an additional fee. The options are a 96-gallon container for $16 per month, or a 2-yard dumpster would be available for $69.28 per month. Either option would be serviced weekly.