06/20/2011: "July 1: More $$ To Dump"
Effective July 1st, garbage drop off fees at County solid waste facilities will increase fifty cents per can to $9.50, and by $20 per ton to $355, for bulk loads. At the same time, the cost of dropping off larger amounts of recycling will be reduced.
A complete listing of the new fees is available online by clicking HERE
The fee for dropping off up to one cubic yard of recycling (about six 32-gallon cans) will remain at $5, while the fees charged for 1-2 cubic yards will drop from $25 to $10, and the fee for recycling two or more cubic yards will be cut in half, to $25.
In setting the new recycling fees, County Council members said they felt the existing fee structure encouraged people to make multiple trips to drop off smaller amounts of recycling, potentially increasing traffic flow and congestion at the facilities.
The Council also enacted a $40 per ton increase for handling garbage from the Town and franchise hauler, San Juan Sanitation. Because of legal requirements for notice, the increase in the franchise hauler fee will not take effect until September 1.
The County’s solid waste utility, which currently depends almost entirely on garbage handling fees, has been losing money for nearly two years, as the volume of trash it handles has dwindled. The downturn in construction is blamed for the bulk of the initial losses. The subsequent fee increases needed to cover the utility’s capital and operation costs have prompted the Town of Friday Harbor and others to haul their trash directly to the mainland, further reducing the volume handled by the County facilities.
The County Council has announced its intention to present a solid waste parcel fee proposal to the voters in November. The exact structure and amount of the fee has not been established, but its purpose would be to reduce the utility’s sole reliance on garbage handling fees to fund operations and state required capital improvements.