King County increases garbage rate to fund system upgrades
September 27, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 27, 2012
The cost for garbage pickup in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County is expected to rise next year, after the King County Council approved a rate increase Monday.
Under the updated rate structure, the cost for commercial vehicles, such as garbage trucks, to dump trash at county facilities is $120.17 per ton. The current rate, put into place in September 2011, is $109 per ton.
Haulers, such as CleanScapes and Allied Waste, pass along the rate increase to customers. So, the average customer putting out a single can for pickup can expect to pay about 65 cents more per month next year, although the exact increase depends on how haulers pass on the rate hike to consumers.
The rate is due to increase to $19.22 from $17.49 per load for residents hauling garbage to county transfer stations.
Officials said the rate increase is driven by a need to overhaul transfer stations and update other infrastructure in the regional solid waste system. The updated rate structure is in place from January 2013 through December 2014.
“This rate increase prevents further cuts to services and restores funding for some services important to residents in King County while keeping the rate as low as possible,” Councilman Joe McDermott said. “The new fees also help us ensure the necessary reserves for future landfill maintenance and a rebuilt transfer system.”
Haulers transport garbage to a transfer station between pick-up at the curb and the dumping at the landfill.
Trash from Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish and Snoqualmie is delivered to the Factoria Transfer Station in Bellevue. The midpoint destination for Issaquah garbage is planned to receive a $77 million makeover in the years ahead.
CleanScapes collects garbage in most Issaquah neighborhoods. Allied Waste — a local name for national company Republic Services — hauls garbage in South Cove and Greenwood Point neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish.
Allied Waste also collects garbage in unincorporated King County.
The revised rates adopted by the council also include a hike for residents carrying unsecured loads to transfer stations. The updated fee is $25.
Officials lowered the fees for separated yard and clean wood waste from $13.25 to $12 per entry for passenger cars and $82.50 per ton to $75 per ton for larger vehicles. Separation of such materials is not mandatory, but the reduced fee is meant to entice residents to separate the materials from other garbage so the county recycle or compost wood and yard waste.
The county Solid Waste Division serves haulers from Issaquah and 36 other cities. The regional solid waste system receives and processes more than 800,000 tons of garbage each year.
The county operates the destination for garbage from Issaquah and elsewhere, Cedar Hills Regional Landfill on 920 acres between Issaquah and Maple Valley. The landfill is expected to remain operational through 2025.