City Council to Consider New Rates to Sustain Valparaiso Trash and Recycling Service

City Council to Consider New Rates to Sustain Valparaiso Trash and Recycling Service

After a thorough review of its trash and recycling service as well as competitive data, the City of Valparaiso  has announced a proposed rate increase to make the service sustainable. “We’ve analyzed efficiencies  and compared our rates to other communities. The cost of providing quality service has increased over  the years due to fuel, equipment, landfill, regulatory and labor costs, combined with a volatility in the  market for recyclables,” said Steve Poulos, Director of Valparaiso City Services. The City of Valparaiso  has not increased its trash and recycling rates since 2012.  

The proposed rate change would increase monthly fees to $19.50, beginning with October 2022 bills  which are payable in November. “We looked for ways to make our operations more efficient and we  compared our rates with communities throughout the region. We learned that Valparaiso’s $12.00 monthly  fee was the lowest in the region. Even with the increase, the new rate is below average for Northwest  Indiana,” said Poulos.  

Nationwide, trash and recycling services are seeing substantial increases in costs as fuel, labor and landfill  fees increase. At the same time, the recycling market continues to be volatile, and funds generated by  selling recycled waste are erratic. In fact, the same loads of recycling that once generated revenue for  communities are costing more to collect than the credits the city once received. “There is always an  environmental value to recycling but the reality is that the financial return is very unpredictable,” said  Poulos. 

Before establishing the rate increase, Valparaiso City Services assembled a committee to study  efficiencies, competitive data and the potential impact of privatizing trash and recycling collection. VCS  has sent information on the proposed rate increase via US mail to all affected Valparaiso residents and  has posted details at VCS also consulted a financial analysis by Baker Tilly, LLP to gain  insight into budgetary needs to provide service, plus an internal audit of operations and efficiencies.  

Since 2020, Valparaiso City Services has consolidated the services of Valparaiso City Utilities and  Valparaiso Public Works to maximize efficiencies. A central Customer Service Center is now located at  205 Billings St. with a single phone number to serve all customer needs at (219) 462-6174. Customers  may also reach Valparaiso City Services online at