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.
By content type
Latest updates in this topic
23,500 Spokane County residents face 10 percent garbage rate hike
Dec. 11, 2014 in City on Page A5 Private contractor Waste Management is asking thousands of Spokane County residents to pay about 10 percent more for trash collection beginning next year, a move that has some city and … 38
Though out of regional system, Cheney will use Waste-to-Energy
Investigators: Acid did not spark waste plant fire
Suspicious acid linked to fire at Waste-to-Energy Plant
Aug. 22, 2014 in City on Page A5 Discovery of a suspicious acid collected by a city garbage truck that prompted a Wednesday morning shutdown of city streets in north Spokane has been linked to a small fire … 8
Investigators: Waste plant fire may be tied to acid in truck
Bakery draws line, achieves 100 percent landfill-free status
June 14, 2014 in City on Page A1 It’s barbecue season, so workers and conveyor systems at Franz Bakery whirled at a frantic pace Thursday to package thousands of hamburger buns. One byproduct was missing: production waste. 28
Spokane to take over Waste-to-Energy Plant operations
April 17, 2014 in City on Page A5 The company that has operated Spokane’s electricity-producing trash incinerator on the West Plains for more than two decades is getting a pink slip. Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. was advised Wednesday by … 16
Spokane officials, seeing change in near future, study incinerator takeover
March 14, 2014 in City on Page A5 City leaders want to know if government could do a better job running Spokane’s energy-producing trash incinerator. With potentially major changes coming over the next few years in how and … 13
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
Spin Control: It was a partisan week at the Legislature – everyone for the Seahawks
Bill seeks green status for Spokane Waste-to-Energy Plant
Jan. 17, 2014 in City on Page A6 OLYMPIA – Electricity from the West Plains garbage incinerator would be classified as a renewable energy and be more valuable to an electric utility if a bill proposed by state …
Spokane County may take control of area garbage system
Oct. 5, 2013 in City on Page B1 Control of Spokane’s regional garbage management system would shift from City Hall to the county courthouse under a reorganization intended to improve the system’s political fairness. But residents aren’t likely … 4
Spokane’s secret deal with Dow AgroSciences wasn’t legal
April 26, 2012 in City on Page A6 Spokane city leaders last year agreed to keep a settlement with a chemical company secret even though state law prevents them from doing so. The 2011 settlement with Dow AgroSciences … 5
City settles compost suit with Dow
March 8, 2012 in City on Page A6 A decade ago, Spokane was stuck with thousands of tons of unwanted compost that killed tomato plants. It was a mixture, city officials said at the time, that forced the … 2
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 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
Feb. 13, 2011 in City on Page B3 Valentine’s Day is usually about loving other people. Children showed their love for the environment Saturday at I Love Clean Air Day, an event filled with activities at Mobius Kids. … 1