Wednesday, Dec 19 2012 - In response to a dramatic increase in hauling costs, the San Juan County Council has increased the fee for dropping off recycling at County Solid Waste facilities on Orcas and San Juan Islands to three dollars per can effective January 1st.
The fees for recycling loads over one ton will increase from a flat $25 per truck, to $95 per ton (approximately $570 for a full truck). Certified Hauler San Juan Sanitation, which will have to pay the higher rate, is not expected to increase fees to its customers for collecting recycling. The fees established for the collection service it began in September anticipated the latest cost increase.
The increase was triggered by the December 31st expiration of the County’s 10-year contract for recycling transportation and processing with Waste Management, Inc. The per-ton cost, which had remained essentially flat over the life of the contract, will double on January 1 and a new $1,108 fee will be added for each trip that the big recycling trailers make to the mainland. The result is that hauling and processing costs paid by the county will jump from the current $36 per ton to $143 per ton of recycling.
While approving the increase in recycling fees, the County Council voted to hold garbage fees at the current level and eliminated fees charged for the annual Household Hazardous Waste collection events.
This recycling fee change will not affect the customers of the Lopez facility since it will no longer be operated by the County. The Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District will take over operations there on January 1 and the District sets its rates separately from the rest of the County.
The County solid waste facilities on Orcas and San Juan Islands are scheduled to be turned over for operation by private contractors this spring.
The County Council approved the new rates by a four-to-two vote on December 18th with members Patty Miller and Lovel Pratt opposed.
A complete copy of the new fee ordinance is available on the County Web-site