Council to View Details of Proposed Waste Collection Contract at July 3 Meeting
Posted on 06/29/2018

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The Newcastle City Council will get the first glimpse at details for a proposed solid waste collection contract with Waste Management during next week’s July 3 meeting. In a 6 p.m. study session, the City Council will go over proposed rates and service changes outlined in the contract. The discussion will continue into the regular meeting after 7 p.m.

Under the new proposal, the majority of customers would see a decrease in their rates, while all Newcastle residents and businesses would see an improved level of service.

New Services

The new contract includes embedded garbage, yard/food waste and recycling collection for all residential customers. All residents currently receive garbage and recycling services, but those who subscribe to yard/food waste collection pay an extra fee. That would change under the new proposal, which also comes with year-round, weekly collection of yard/food waste. 

Additionally, Waste Management would provide a kitchen container to all requesting customers. The bin gives residents a convenient tool to easily collect food scraps and increase diversion rates. 

Under the proposal, customers would be required to use Waste Management-provided collection bins, which will ultimately lower costs for residents due to increased efficiency and safety for the waste hauler’s drivers. Cart colors would also change to reflect uniformity with other agencies in King County.

Local businesses would see an increase in service with the addition of unlimited, embedded recycling services. Waste Management would install public garbage/recycling stations that are solar compacting in the city’s downtown area. The proposal also has the company increasing its sponsorship commitment for the city’s summer events to $15,000 annually.

Rates

The majority of residential customers will see a decrease in their collection rates under the proposed contract. Rates continue to vary by container size, but based on current rates, customers who subscribe to yard/food waste collection would see lower costs. Those who do not currently subscribe would see a rate increase, but it would come with the new embedded yard/food waste service.

See the proposed rates: Exhibit 1: Proposed Residential Rates | Exhibit 3: Residential Rate Comparison 

The Newcastle City Council could also consider what is known as a street administrative fee. If incorporated, the fee would be added to base collection rates and serve as an additional city revenue source to offset costs associated with the weekly wear and tear the collection trucks put on Newcastle streets. The majority of residential customers would still see a rate decrease if the council chooses to implement the fee.

See additional information about the proposed contract details: City Council Agenda Bill

What’s Next?

The City Council will discuss details of the proposal, but will not make a final decision until it directs staff to bring forward the contract at a subsequent meeting. At all council meetings, residents are encouraged to share their thoughts during two public comment periods. You can also contact your councilmembers through email (see all councilmember emails here).

In an effort to bring faster rate relief to customers, the Newcastle City Council directed staff to negotiate a new solid waste collection contract with Waste Management before the city’s 10-year contract with the hauler expires in the summer of 2019.

What Else is Happening at the July 3 Meeting?

— The City Council will hold a public hearing as it looks to adopt the 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program update. The TIP, a six-year planning document that outlines the city’s future transportation projects, is a state-mandated guide that ensures municipalities plan ahead to carry out and coordinate transportation projects that benefit their communities. Learn more about the TIP in the City Council recap from the June 5 meeting here.

— At councilmembers’ request, a discussion about pursuing a unique Newcastle ZIP code is on the July 3 agenda.

— At the beginning of the meeting, the City Council will honor retiring Police Chief Melinda Irvine with a proclamation. They’ll also welcome and recognize special guest Nidhi Achanta, the Newcastle resident who recently competed in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

View the full meeting agenda packet here. The study session begins at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers at Newcastle City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200. 

Newcastle City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays of each month unless otherwise noted. Members of the public are invited to share thoughts during any public hearings or two open public comment periods.

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