Marfa Small Business Owners Furious Over Dumpster Costs

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MARFA - It just stinks.

That's how some small business owners in Marfa feel after their trash bills more than doubled.

"I know everybody is good and mad about it," Robert Dod, Bookkeeper for Alice's Café in Marfa, said.

Last month, Alice's Cafe paid $59 for trash pickup at alice's cafe.  

You can imagine the reaction from bookkeeper Robert Dod, when this month's bill more than doubled.

"In a small town like this, you don't have a lot.  You have business, but not a lot.  With everything else going up too, if you go up too much on your prices to compensate for it, it knocks your business too because then people can't afford to come eat," Dod said.

The sudden price hike came with no warning and is affecting both commercial and residential customers.

"We got a dumpster out back.  The neighbor across the street, which is a residence, is sharing that dumpster.  How are they basing, who pays what price?" Dod said.

Marfa doesn't have its own sanitation or trash service.   Instead, they have a contract with a company out of central Texas, Duncan Disposal.

One business owner calls it "highway robbery," but all agree, if costs keep going up, it could spell the beginning of the end for some businesses.

If rates keep going up, customers won't be able to pay their bills to the city. In turn, the city can't pay its bill to Duncan Disposal.  If Duncan Disposal doesn't get paid, that could be bad news for everybody.

"If we don't have the garbage pick-up, then it's all going to pile up in the alley, and then you've got all your other problems to go along with that," Dod said.

A new contract between the City of Marfa and Duncan Disposal that includes the rate increases is in the works.

The city council hasn't voted on it yet.