Garbage pickup and disposal costs in The Dalles will increase an average of 2.15 percent following a rate increase approved by The Dalles City Council Monday.
Beginning in January 2020, weekly pickup of a residential 32-gallon garbage container will increase 38 cents a month, from $17.76 to $18.14, and weekly pick up of a 20-gallon container will increase from $12.30 to $12.56.
Commercial and transfer station fees will also increase by the 2.15 percent average.
“We know any rate increase impacts our customers, and we have kept this increase as minimal as possible,” said Jim Winterbottom, district manager for The Dalles Disposal. The increase is based on increased fees at the Wasco County Landfill, which uses a Consumer Price Index (CPI) standard for the region to set its rate.
The landfill will be increasing both its gate rate and the pass-through household hazardous waste tax by the same percentage beginning Jan. 1, and those increases are incorporated into the new rate schedule at The Dalles Disposal, which includes both pickup and transfer station fees, Winterbottom said.
The increase also addresses operational cost increases associated with increased healthcare, fleet maintenance, fuel and container costs.
The council approved the increase 3-0, with Councilor Linda Miller abstaining due to a conflict of interest.
In response to a question from the council, Winterbottom said that co-mingled recycling continues to be taken to the landfill.
“It costs more to process co-mingled recycling than it does to landfill it,” he explained, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality allows it to be disposed of under those circumstances.
Co-mingled recycling has been an issue nationwide since China stopped accepting it unless it is clean.
“Items aren’t being cleaned properly, or inappropriate materials are being mixed in,” he explained.
Winterbottom estimated 68 to 70 tons of co-mingled recycling is currently being landfilled each month.
He noted other items are still being recycled, including glass, metal, batteries, plastic bottles, electronics and newspapers—provided they are not co-mingled. Glass can be picked up at the curb, and other items can be taken to the transfer station.
“This is only impacting the co-mingled,” he said.
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