Solid Waste Service rates could increase in Anchorage

Anchorage Central Transfer Station. (KTUU)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage residents using Solid Waste Services could see a rate increase of 6.25% by Jan. 1, 2020.

The muni's Solid Waste Services Division says rate increases are necessary "... in order to prepare for the future and meet financial policies and operational needs." SWSD's Suzanna Caldwell says the division has to increase rates in order to provide quality service.

"Costs increase every year for us. Whether that's the cost of labor, cost of fuel, cost of maintenance on our vehicles and our facility," Caldwell said. "So in order to continue maintaining safe operations, we have to be able to pay for it."

SWSD is asking the Anchorage Assembly to approve a 5% raise for trash collections, and a 6.25% raise for disposal. Caldwell says this would amount to an an increase of about $1 per month for residential users. These incremental rate hikes would also go toward the municipality's new Central Transfer Station, which is scheduled for completion sometime in 2023.

Increasing disposal costs likely means private trash haulers will also have to up their rates. Denali Disposal's Bernadette Wilson told Channel 2 many haulers have stopped asking the assembly to deny the rate hikes, feeling as though their testimony will not sway any decisions.

Caldwell notes that people dropping their trash at the transfer station would not be charged extra.

SWSD estimates the proposed rate increases would generate $1.342- million in 2020.

Click here to read the ordinance, scheduled for introduction at Tuesday's regular assembly meeting.

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