This article is written in regards to US pricing. Go here to learn about Price Increases in Canada.
Our WM operating companies periodically increase their service rates. Price increases are subject to a customer’s applicable service terms, including any applicable municipal or franchise agreement or service agreement that the customer has with a WM operating company. Notifications for rate increases are typically provided the month of, or the month prior to, the increase and can be found in the “important messages” section on a customer’s invoice. Increases to service rates may be based on any number of factors, including to cover increases to both internal and third party disposal, processing and/or transportation costs, increased costs due to uncontrollable circumstances, including, without limitation, changes in local, state or federal laws or regulations, imposition of taxes, fees or surcharges or acts of God such as floods, fires, hurricanes and natural disasters, and increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or for Canadian customers, Canadian CPI published by Statistics Canada. Standard CPI rate increases for US customers are tied to increases in the Water, Sewer, and Trash Collection Services expenditure category of CPI-U (non-seasonally adjusted, rolling 12-month average) published by the BLS (see www.bls.gov/cpi/ for more information), and for Canadian customers, increases to the Canadian Property Taxes and Other Special Charges Consumer Price Index (rolling 12-month average) published by Statistics Canada. We may also apply different CPI based price increases, including a contractually allowed CPI+4% price increase for certain customers, or seek price increases for other reasons and/or for our WM operating companies to achieve acceptable operating margins.
Residential, commercial and roll-off container customers serviced pursuant to a franchise agreement with a municipality or local governmental authority are subject to price increases permitted under the terms of such agreements.
Open Market/Subscription Residential Customers
Generally, open market residential subscription collection customers are serviced on a prepaid quarter by quarter (or other periodic) basis, without individual service agreements. Therefore, our WM operating companies can increase the price or cost to provide such residential collection service from billing period to billing period, and customers may terminate or choose to not renew services after each billing period. Residential subscription customers are billed in advance and invoices represent the WM operating company’s offer to provide or continue to provide such services for the specified billing period. By paying the invoice and not cancelling service, the customer is agreeing to continue the service for the billing period and there is no proration or partial refund for any cancellation prior to the end of the billing period.
WM operating companies provide non-franchise commercial small container and permanent (i.e., recurring service) roll-off container service to customers under fixed term contracts with renewal options. Under Section 4(b) of our current standard service agreement for commercial small container and roll-off customers (“standard commercial/roll-off service agreement”), your applicable WM operating company has the right to increase a customer’s service rate and charges for any one or more of the following reasons:
(i) for any changes to, or differences between, the actual equipment and services provided by such WM operating company to customer and those specified on the Service Summary to the customer’s service agreement;
(ii) for any change in the composition of the “Waste Materials” (as defined in the service agreement) or if the average weight per yard of the customer's Waste Materials exceeds the amount specified on the customer’s Service Summary;
(iii) for any increase in or other modification to our Fuel Surcharge, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, Recyclable Material Offset, Environmental Charge, and/or any Fees/Charges included on the customer’s Service Summary;
(iv) to cover any increases in disposal, processing and/or transportation costs, including fuel surcharges;
(v) to cover increased costs due to uncontrollable circumstances, including, without limitation, changes in local, state or federal laws or regulations, imposition of taxes, fees or surcharges or acts of God such as floods, fires, hurricanes and natural disasters”; and/or
(vi) for increases in any Consumer Price Index or components thereof applicable to the services (for U.S. customers, generally the Water, Sewer, and Trash Collection Services expenditure category of CPI-U published by the BLS, and for Canadian customers, generally the Canadian Property Taxes and Other Special Charges Consumer Price Index published by Statistics Canada).
The price increases specified in Section 4(b)(i) through (vi) may be applied singularly or cumulatively, and may include an amount for such company's operating or profit margin. Price increases are not represented to be solely an offset or pass through of the company’s costs.
In addition to specific price increases allowed under Section 4(b), WM operating companies also regularly seek price increases subject to customer consent pursuant to Section 4(c) of our standard commercial/roll-off service agreement. WM operating companies notify such customers of these price increases subject to customer consent, through invoice messaging, invoice inserts or separately mailed price increase notifications. Under Section 4(c) of such service agreement, the customer can either accept the price increase or trigger a termination of its service agreement, without any obligation to pay liquidated damages. Under Section 4(a) of our standard commercial/roll-off service agreement, payment of the price increase is deemed to be a customer’s consent to the consensual price increase.
Pricing, price increases and the assessment of charges, whether pursuant to Section 4 of our standard commercial/roll-off service agreement or subject to other applicable service terms or customer consent, are not applied uniformly and vary from customer to customer. By contract or at the company’s discretion, some customers are exempt from base rate or CPI based price increases or do not pay Waste Management’s standard or common charges, such as our Fuel and Environmental Charges. Section 4 price increases and charges are designed to recover all applicable costs as to all customers from only those customers subject to the price increase or charge, excluding any exempt or non-paying customers.
Check Your Applicable Service Terms
The service terms referenced above may apply to you, or your service terms may be different. Not all collection customers have service agreements and not all commercial and roll-off customers are covered by our standard commercial/roll-off service agreement. Your services may be covered by prior versions of our standard commercial/roll-off service agreement, which has different terms. If you have a service agreement, please check it for your applicable terms.
For additional information or assistance, please Contact Us.