Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ administration is beginning to disburse $19 million to more than 50,000 property owners as part of a settlement over improper waste fees, according to a spokeswoman for the attorneys who sued the city.
The city charges fees for street sweeping and other trash collection services at residential and commercial properties. But a lawsuit filed in court last year alleged the city failed to perform services at several condominiums, townhomes, and apartments.
At the same time, the city increased their solid waste fees to a range of $500 to $12,000 per property in 2019, according to the lawsuit.
The city agreed to settle the case and to reimburse the affected property owners located in Buckhead, Midtown, and downtown Atlanta. The spokeswoman for the attorneys said Thursday the settlement funds will now be distributed over the next 35 days.
Meanwhile, a recent study from the city’s Department of Public Works found the department has historically collected insufficient revenue to cover the expenses of the city’s solid waste services.
In an effort to prevent future litigation, Atlanta is working to implement new rates for collection services. The City Council is expected to take action next month to repeal and replace the ordinance that caused the improper fees, according to a press release from the attorneys.
Atlanta City Council started discussions last week on how to revise the fee system.