The price of recycling household garbage in West Jordan just went up 31 cents a month.

But residents won't have to pick up the tab, at least for this year.A fee increase approved by the City Council Tuesday night will boost the curbside recycling cost per household from $1.69 a month to $2, an increase of 18 percent.

It will mean West Jordan must pay some $60,000 more than the city budgeted for fiscal 1999. Rather than pass the increase onto residents to make up the difference, the city will dip into its $1 million-plus solid waste reserve fund to cover it.

BFI Waste, the company that provides the residential recycling service, requested a fee increase retroactive to July 1 to cover a four-cents-per-month jump in the cost of living.

The company also asked for an additional 27 cents per month to pay for the increase in disposal costs charged by the Recycling Corporation of America.

Council members approved both increases but made the four-cent cost-of-living adjustment retroactive to Sept. 1 instead.

In addition, council members approved a six-month extension in the city's contract with BFI Waste. The contract will now expire next June 30, bringing it into line with the city's fiscal year.

The council also agreed to rebid both the city's solid waste collection and curbside recycling contracts for fiscal 2000 to ensure waste costs remain low for West Jordan residents.

There was some discussion about extending the existing waste contracts, but city officials were reminded by Councilman David Newton that competitive bidding is the best policy.

"We've been concerned about out bidding procedures," said Newton, referring to a recent disclosure that a number of contracts on the city's new $6 million soccer complex were let without going to competitive bid.

"Let's do it right," he added.

City Attorney Greg Curtis agreed with Newton, noting it would be improper to continue granting extensions on either waste contract without putting them out for bid.

Once the city issues requests for proposals on the new waste contracts, the council was advised, renewal options legally can be writ-ten into the new documents.

BFI officials indicate 85 percent of the city's population participates in curbside recycling.

Council members said they will discuss waste disposal charges at the end of the year to decide whether to pass on the 31-cent increase to residents or continue absorbing it in the reserve fund.