Supporting infrastructure while restructuring funding
Recognizing the region’s economic challenges while working to maintain and improve infrastructure, the Metropolitan King County Council today set a two-year rate for the county’s solid waste system. The basic rate for passenger vehicles will increase from $17.49 to $19.22; commercial vehicle rates will increase from $109 to $120.17 per ton.
The rate increase is primarily driven by needed capital investments in transfer stations, associated debt payments and proposed restorations or expansions of a limited number of recycling services and programs. The new rate also includes an increase for those who arrive at transfer stations with unsecured loads. King County will now set this fee at $25.
“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. The new fees also help us ensure the necessary reserves for future landfill maintenance and a rebuilt transfer system,” Councilmember Joe McDermott said. McDermott chairs the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.
“Changes to the solid waste fee structure promote recycling and composting while providing for the financial sustainability of King County’s regional solid waste system,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “This rate structure will remain in place for at least two years, providing for certainty and predictability.”
While there will be an increase in solid waste fees, fees for separated yard and clean wood waste will actually be lowered from $13.25 to $12 per entry for passenger cars and $82.50 per ton to $75 per ton for larger vehicles. Separation of these materials is not mandatory – but the lower fees at Shoreline, Bow Lake, and Enumclaw transfer stations and the Cedar Falls drop box are intended to provide an incentive for delivery of these materials – when separated from other garbage – so they can be recycled/composted – instead of going into the landfill.
Thirty-seven cities, solid waste haulers and the County make up the regional solid waste system that receives more than 800,000 tons of waste annually. The new rates were developed in consultation with the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and the Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee, an advisory group of participating cities.