Evanston city staffers want to hike trash pickup charges nearly 40 percent this year.

Residents who use a single garbage cart would see their rate increase from $5 to $6.95 per month, under the budget proposed this week by City Manager Julia Carroll.

On top of that there’d be a new monthly charge of $2.50 per household to have pickups made from a second garbage cart — a measure designed to encourage people to toss less.

In Austin, Texas, city officials have started a more aggressive effort to cut down on waste clogging landfills. The Austin American-Statesman reports that officials there want to stop using landfills entirely and recycle or reuse everything.

They’ve hired a consultant to draft a plan to work toward that goal and hope to cut trash sent to landfills by 20 percent within four years and reach the zero waste goal by 2040. That firm has already drafted similar plans for the California communities of Palo Alto and Oakland.

No word in the story on how much the diversion project will cost.

Ways to reduce Evanston’s solid waste stream may be one of the topics tackled in the community climate action plan project that is scheduled to produce a report this May.

Officials say the increase in garbage rates proposed in the new city budget would cover the full cost of picking up the trash — but that’s only 35 percent of the total cost of disposing of refuse and running the city’s recycling and yard waste disposal programs.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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