Since March of 2019, all of Westland’s recycling has ended up in the landfill. Due to a sudden surge in costs, the City had to suspend the program. New efforts to restore recycling have called for a tax hike that would result in about a $50 increase per $100,000 of home value per year. City Council will vote on December 16th whether or not to place the language on the ballot. The decision would be made by the voters in the March 2020 election
During the programs hay day, Westland recycled about 5,000 tons of waste per year and held the highest participation rate in the nation. Since then, costs have gone up about 10 times that original price. The City also operates the sanitation department on the original and unchanged millage from 1968, which isn’t enough to cover the new costs of recycling.
The ballot language presented to City Council yesterday reads:
Shall the City of Westland levy a new millage of up to 1 mill against all taxable property for a 10-year period, beginning with tax year 2020 and ending with tax year 2029, inclusive, for the purpose of funding sanitation services, including, but not limited to, recycling, bulk pickup/disposal, yard waste collection, composting and, trash pickup disposal? 1 mill is equal to $1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value, and which rate shall be assessed without further reduction by Section 31 of Article IX, State Constitution of 1963, and without further annual vote by the electorate. If approve, the full millage will raise approximately $1,750,000 the first year it is levied.
City Council will vote on December 16th to decide if the language will appear on the March 10, 2020 ballot. Westland residents will then be able to vote Yes or No on the millage proposal.