News

Longer drive to dump might mean higher bills

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Federal Way’s 9,000 yard waste collection customers could see a rate increase if Waste Management’s contract is re-negotiated to reflect an increase in the solid-waste hauler’s transit costs.

The Federal Way City Council voted last Tuesday to extend the city’s solid-waste contract with Waste Management for another two years — the first of two, two-year extensions allowed under the initial contract — while simultaneously directing city officials to research whether a rate increase requested by Waste Management has merit.

About 18 months ago, the yard waste dump facility in Covington, where Waste Management was hauling yard debris from the south King County area, closed down because of odor control issues, according to Rob Van Orsow, the city’s solid-waste and recycling coordinator. As a result, Waste Management must transport yard waste debris to Maple Valley, which is farther away.

Because of the additional distance haulers have to drive, Waste Management wants a small rate increase to offset the extra time and mileage that its drivers will spend transporting yard waste to Maple Valley, Van Orsow said.

Waste Management’s municipal contract manager, Jerry Hardebeck, was unavailable for comment.

About 9,000 of the 15,800 solid-waste disposal subscribers in Federal Way also subscribe to yard waste service, according to Van Orsow. The rate for a 96-gallon container is $6.38 a month, and containers are picked up every week during the spring, summer and fall.

Now that the council has authorized the contract extension, city officials will begin doing some research to see if the rate increase is warranted.

“If Waste Management actually has a case to make about cost, we want to hear them out,” Van Orsow said.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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