Arlington okays increase in solid waste rates

ARLINGTON — Arlington citizens should anticipate a rate increase this fall for the solid waste, recycling and compostable organics services provided by Waste Management Northwest, but city of Arlington Public Works Director Jim Kelly wants to reassure them that this is all part of the plan that was established two years ago.

“When we entered into our agreement with Waste Management two years ago, we agreed to three years of rate increases to come into line with the costs of service,” Kelley said. “As per that timetable, this is our last year of scheduled rate increases. After this, it’s only set to increase according to the Consumer Price Index.”

The city of Arlington had originally entered into a contract with Waste Management Northwest in 2002 for the collection and disposal of garbage within the city. Although that contract was extended and modified in 2004 for the continued collection of both solid waste and recyclables, the rates were increased in the contract renegotiation of 2010 to make up for not keeping up with the inflation rates of the preceding 10 years. Residential food composting was also added to Waste Management Northwest’s collection services at this time.

The total service fee percentage increase has been 3.6 percent per year for all three years, from 2010 through 2012, and Waste Management anticipates that the rate adjustment will become effective on Sept. 1 of this year. Following this planned rate increase, rates will rise at 90 percent of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI, as opposed to the 80 percent of the pre-2010 contract.

“We’re still paying a lower rate with Waste Management than we would be otherwise,” Kelly said. “As our city grows, we’re putting increased demands on services for our residents and businesses.”

For a single family residence with one-can-a-month service for a 32-gallon can, this means the fee has increased from $6.61 in 2012 to $7.10 in 2012. Multi-family garbage and recycling fees for a 64-gallon monthly pickup have increased from $26.02 in 2012 to $27.93 in 2012. The minimum monthly rate for commercial service can/unit garbage collection has  increased from $16.68 in 2012 to $17.90 in 2012, while commercial recycling has increased from $2.78 in 2010 to $2.98 in 2012 per pickup for a 64-gallon cart. And as in 2010 and 2011, Arlington businesses can get two 96-gallon mixed recycling carts emptied weekly free of charge as part of their garbage service in 2012.


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