Federal Way faces higher garbage bill

Federal Way residents may pay more for solid waste disposal.

A proposal calls for an increase from $95 per ton to $108 per ton in Federal Way, according to Kevin Kiernan, director of the King County Solid Waste Division. The proposal is up for approval from the King County Council, and would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, if approved. The rate increase would last for one year only, as of this time.

Federal Way residents will see an increase of 76 cents per garbage can on their garbage bill, Kiernan said.

“We’re very sensitive to the rates for solid waste disposal,” Kiernan said at the Federal Way City Council meeting June 7. “In 1999, the then King County executive made a commitment that rates would not increase faster than the rate of inflation. We’ve been able to keep that commitment.”

Although a jump of $13 from one year to the next might seem large, Kiernan told council members that the greater King County rate will still be one of the better rates in the region.

“Our rates will remain among the lowest in the region,” he said.

Kiernan explained that Seattle’s rate per ton is $145, while Tacoma’s rates are $130 per ton for residents, and $150 per ton for non-residents.

Kiernan said the need for the rate increase comes from the beginning of a capital projects program for the regional solid waste system. Among the projects included are the extension of the Cedar Hills landfill, and a system-wide replacement for all transfer stations.

“We’ve held our rates stable for a long time. But, as we’re beginning our capital program, we need to begin paying for those capital investments,” Kiernan said.

For more information on the King County Solid Waste division, visit


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