FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Relief is on the way for people on limited incomes in Fairhope. The city council voted this week to cut the garbage collection fee in half for people who qualify.

Right now, that fee is $20 but under the new plan, people in subsidized housing where full-service garbage collection isn’t available can apply for the discounted rate.

Fairhope Mayor, Sherry Sullivan said many residents living in subsidized housing were complaining about having to pay a fee for service that they were not getting.

“In today’s economy, we realized for some that it can be a stretch. And we want to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollars, we do not want them to pay for services that they are not getting, and this is just one way we can continue to give back to our citizens,”  Sullivan said.

Those who live in subsidized housing aren’t the only ones who can apply for the exemption.

“If you are in a home and you are only on social security and you can prove that, then we will reduce your fee by 50%. But again, the burden of proof is going to be on the residence, so we are not going to automatically drop that fee, you’re going to have to come in and fill out the appropriate paperwork and verify your income,”  Sullivan said.

You can find applications for exemption status at Fairhope City Hall. The new garbage rates will go into effect on Oct. 1 for those who qualify.