The cost of hauling garbage to Spokane’s trash plant or transfer stations is likely to go up for household haulers but down for the large garbage collectors.
Spokane County Commissioners on Tuesday approved changes to the rates charged for dumping.
Individual haulers are now charged a minimum of $7 for the first 120 pounds of garbage and then a fraction of the tonnage fee for amounts above that.
The minimum rate would increase to $15 for the first 300 pounds under the proposal approved Tuesday.
Spokane City Council members are scheduled to consider the changes Monday.
At the same time that minimum rates are proposed to increase, the rate per ton would fall to $98 from $103. Those rates would increase in coming years to match inflation as tracked by the consumer price index.
Ken Gimpel, business director of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, said the increase in minimum dumping fees is needed to cover the actual cost of handling the smaller amounts of garbage. The change would also encourage people to make fewer trips by applying the minimum fee to the first 300 pounds of garbage instead of the first 120 pounds.
Last year, the system had 166,000 individual haulers who paid $15 or less. At times, traffic backs up at the transfer station on Sullivan Road with extended wait times.
Gimpel said the current minimum rate is artificially low compared with the cost of running the system.
Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn said people who are used to dumping their own garbage might be troubled by the higher minimum fee.
The change could take effect as early as May 1 if approved by the Spokane City Council.