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Modest solid waste rate increase will help County update facilities, add recycling options

Summary

For the first time since 2013, King County will increase its solid waste disposal fee, and residents who pay for curbside collection service as well as customers who use a County solid waste facility will see a modest increase in disposal rates. The new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2017, and will help pay for the modernization of solid waste management and recycling systems.

Story

To help bring King County’s solid waste and recycling facilities to modern standards, and to offer additional recycling services, the Metropolitan King County Council approved a modest solid waste rate increase beginning in 2017. This is the first increase to the County’s solid waste rates since 2013.

The increase raises the monthly bill for the typical single-family curbside customer by 77 cents per month, or about 4 percent.

The disposal fee at King County solid waste facilities, when tax and surcharge are included, will increase from $129.40 per ton to $144.34 per ton and the minimum fee will increase from $22 to $24.25. Even with the increase, these rates remain lower than rates charged at Seattle and Pierce County facilities.

Commercial haulers that collect solid waste at the curb and self-haulers using King County solid waste transfer stations will pay the new disposal fee, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The new rate will primarily fund the increased cost of current services, including recycling programs, waste transfer and disposal, while enhancing operations at transfer stations and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill.

The rate will allow SWD to provide new recycling options at transfer stations aimed at recovering 42,000 additional tons of recyclable materials each year, saving room and extending the life of the landfill, and achieving environmental goals.

King County residents and businesses recycle 54 percent of all solid waste generated, yet 70 percent of what is landfilled could have been reused, recycled or composted.

The increased revenue will also help pay for the new Factoria Transfer Station, currently under construction in Bellevue, and a new facility in south King County to replace the 1960s-era Algona station.

The new rate applies to residents of King County, outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton, which are part of separate solid waste handling systems.
 
King County operates eight transfer stations, two drop-boxes, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, and many programs to help customers recycle. Learn more about the Solid Waste Division at www.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste.