A change is coming for Westfield residents when it comes to paying to take out the trash.
The city has a contract with Waste Management for refuse and recycling collection. Residents pay that bill to the city, which then pays Waste Management. But starting this spring, customers will pay the refuse company directly.
The city is working on a communications plan to make sure everyone is ready for the switch.
The plan will be rolled out over the next few months, according to the city, starting with a public information campaign that will include press releases, website and newsletter articles and print and social media ads.
“(Waste Management) will be sending out postcards out to residents, probably the first week in March,” Kayla Arnold, director of communications, told the City Council during its Jan. 29 meeting. “That will have the account number on there so that people can have that information available. That way when they get their first bill, they know what to look for. There are a lot of features that residents will be able to do that they haven’t traditionally been able to do in the past because the city has handled the billing — things like going online and being able to do a bulk pick-up schedule.
“You’ll no longer have to call in and wait and leave a message and have them call you back. You’ll be able to go online to schedule that.”
The city will continue to bill for stormwater, and an insert will be included in the bill as the switchover approaches.
Residents can set up autopay through Waste Management. Anyone with autopay set up through the city will have to cancel that service.
The direct billing will begin in April. Rates are not affected. The city has a contract with Waste Management through the end of 2025.