The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County fulfills local government responsibilities under state law[i] for managing hazardous waste. We provide for safe disposal of hazardous materials and wastes from residents and businesses that produce small amounts of hazardous waste in King County, as well as a range of services and prevention programs to reduce exposure and risk from hazardous waste.The Program is funded by local hazardous waste fees on solid waste (garbage) and sewer accounts, and nominal fees charged at transfer stations. Monthly local hazardous waste fees are a small part of your garbage bill; your solid waste hauler collects them and sends them to the Program. This monthly fee currently is $1.08 for residents and $11.24 for businesses[ii].
We are putting forth a proposal to the Board of Health for consideration in March—related to the way local hazardous waste fees are assessed to business and multi-family solid waste accounts. Currently, these fees on solid waste accounts are assessed as a flat rate. Under the pending proposal, the fees on businesses and multi-family[iii] accounts would change to a volume-basis, with a three-tiered rate. This change would affect only business and multi-family accounts—it would not affect single family accounts. This change does not affect the fees charged for solid waste collections services.
The King County Board of Health (Board) sets the Program’s rates and will be considering this proposal at their March and April meetings. If the proposal is adopted, changes to the rates would become effective January 1, 2015.
Why the proposed change? The Program is interested in making its rates fairer. The current system charges all business ratepayers the same, regardless of the volume of solid waste they generate. The proposed change would reduce costs for entities that generate less solid waste, shifting those costs to entities that generate larger volumes. The proposal also changes fees for multi-family complexes, making those rates consistent across the County. Currently, multi-family ratepayers in Seattle pay the local hazardous waste residential rate, while those in other areas of the County pay the business rate. Under the proposed system, all multi-family ratepayers would pay the business rates, based on the tier system described above.
To learn more about Local Hazardous Waste Program services, visit www.lhwmp.org.
[i] RCW 70.105.220
[ii]Businesses include commercial enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, governments, schools, universities, hospitals, and other institutions.
[iii] Multi-family residences include condominiums, apartment buildings, townhouses and multiplexes.