Regional solid waste system
Establishing a garbage democracy in Spokane County may prove as difficult as bringing representative government to Afghanistan.
City officials had shown little interest in Spokane County commissioners’ call for transferring control of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System to a health-district-style coalition. But on Feb. 3, 2011, a group of regional officials including Spokane Mayor Mary Verner tentatively agreed to form such a coalition.
The city would continue to own the Waste-to-Energy Plant and transfer stations in Spokane Valley and Colbert – as guaranteed by current contracts. But the new solid waste system wouldn’t be obligated to use Spokane’s facilities or services.
A host of thorny details are to be worked out by a committee, but the basic framework is a regional board with authority to contract with Spokane or any other service provider.
Contracts that created the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System call for the city to retain ownership of the Waste-to-Energy Plant even though county ratepayers helped pay for it.
Wheelabrator Spokane’s contract to operate the plant expires Nov. 16, 2011. It says Wheelabrator may take over another company’s winning bid – leaving other companies little incentive to bid.
The chance of three-year extension of Wheelabrator Spokane’s contract to operate the Waste-to-Energy Plant is an open question. The proposed extension would remove contract terms that discourage other operators from bidding in the future, but would require $18 million worth of plant improvements.
Under the new regional system, every member government will have a seat on the board of directors. Voting is to be weighted in some fashion, perhaps by the amount of garbage residents contribute.
If Spokane chooses to join the system, as owners of the Waste-to-Energy Plant it could be a service vendor as well as a voting member.
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Latest updates in this topic
Investigators: Acid did not spark waste plant fire
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Spokane to take over Waste-to-Energy Plant operations
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Spokane cedes control of solid waste system to county
Feb. 11, 2014 in City on Page A1 The Spokane City Council on Monday did something that seemed almost unthinkable a decade ago: It gave up control of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. In a unanimous vote, … 21
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Spokane County may take control of area garbage system
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Spokane’s secret deal with Dow AgroSciences wasn’t legal
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City settles compost suit with Dow
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City OKs Waste-to-Energy deal
Aug. 30, 2011 in City on Page A6 City leaders on Monday agreed for the second time this year to a deal that keeps Spokane’s Waste-to-Energy Plant open another three years. The Spokane City Council voted 6-1 to … 5
Waste disposal costs to rise
Aug. 25, 2011 in City on Page A6 Revisions in the contract for operating Spokane’s garbage incinerator would contribute to a proposed 10.2 percent increase in countywide garbage disposal costs. County commissioners directed their staff Wednesday to take … 2
Spokane City Council approves plan for more recycling
June 14, 2011 in City on Page A8 Spokane residents will soon get the ability to recycle more at the curb under a 10-year contract approved Monday by the Spokane City Council. The council voted 6-1 to approve … 1
Broader recycling options coming to Spokane
June 13, 2011 in City, News Spokane residents will soon get the ability to recycle more at the curb under a 10-year contract approved Monday by the Spokane City Council. The council voted 6-1 to approve … 13
On a quest for renewable energy
March 26, 2011 in City on Page A1 Wind turbines are sprouting in parts of the state, their giant stalks and slowly churning blades rendering futuristic landscapes. To supporters of a law that required utilities to use more … 46
I Love Clean Air Day attunes children to environment
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Commissioners approve incinerator improvements
Feb. 9, 2011 in City on Page A7 Getting rid of a ton of garbage may cost about $12 more next year if the Spokane City Council accepts an agreement county commissioners offered Tuesday. Commissioners unanimously approved a … 4
County set to approve amendments to Waste-to-Energy Plant contract
Feb. 8, 2011 in City on Page A6 County commissioners are ready to bless a plan to make Spokane’s garbage burner more competitive with regional landfills. The deal, which could be approved today, would allow Spokane to order … 3