PT trash collection rates to increase April 1

Carmen Jaramillo
cjaramillo@ptleader.com
Posted 1/22/20

Trash collection rates in the City of Port Townsend will be increasing starting in April, when a new contract with DM Disposal will take effect. Customers will be provided with new bins free of charge that are compatible with the new automated trucks. Collection will take place bi-weekly.

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PT trash collection rates to increase April 1

Posted

Trash collection rates in the City of Port Townsend will be increasing starting in April, when a new contract with DM Disposal will take effect. Customers will be provided with new bins free of charge that are compatible with the new automated trucks. Collection will take place bi-weekly.

In April last year, the City of Port Townsend signed a new 10-year contract with DM Disposal to replace an outdated one originally signed in 2002 and last extended with new terms in 2014. The new contract begins April 1.

The majority of service options will see rates increase significantly before the 22% city utility tax and 3.6% state refuse tax. The increased rates include a 9% administration fee paid to the city general fund.

Increased rates will bring in $120,000 more utility tax revenue annually and $30,000 more in administrative fees that go into the city general fund.

The most popular service level, a 32-gallon bin every other week, is used by over 50% of city customers and will see an increase from $10.66 per month to $18.43 per month.

This is a lower cost to residents than other options the city considered in April 2019, Tony Hillman City of Port Townsend finance manager said.

DM Disposal was the only company to submit a proposal to the city for service. Other options considered were to create a public city collection service which was estimated to cost $2.4 million per year to operate and more than $2.25 million in equipment costs in the first five years. The city estimated it would cost between $2 - $7 more per month for residents, depending on the level of service option, than a continued DM Disposal contract with increased rates.

The other option considered was to take service administered by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commision. The UTC provides service to Jefferson County residents and fixes rates, but it is still contracted with DM Disposal. That means the city would continue to receive DM Disposal service but would pay more than if it negotiated its own contract. The city would also lose the 9% administration fee revenue. The most popular service option of one 32-gallon bin every other week would increase from $10.66 to per month to $31.65 per month before tax. That is $13.22 more than the city negotiated price of $18.43.

The rate increases reflect a rising cost in service calculated from the consumer price index, increased fuel costs and increased transfer station costs, according to city documents. DM Disposal will make 9% profit with the increased rates, significantly lower than the 12% to 18% profit margin allowed by the UTC.

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HarveyW

My business is forced to pay for trash pick up. We recycle everything we use, because its the right thing to do. It would take a year to fill a can. Forced. No Choice. It is a tax. Call it that. Rats and pests are not an issue. We have no food waste. Forced. No benefit.

Friday, January 24