What is the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program?
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County (LHWMP) is a regional partnership established to protect public health and the environment. The program focus is to reduce exposure risks to hazardous materials, products and wastes, at home and at work. The program is implemented through a multi-jurisdictional Management Coordination Committee (MCC) and is recognized as the Program governing entity by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
What Services does LHWMP Provide?
We provide services to 2.1 million residents and over 60,000 business in King County. The program focuses on prevention, policy and collection. Managing hazardous materials properly, choosing less toxic materials and adopting green technologies that reduce the amount of hazardous materials being used are key education and outreach services we provide to protect public health and the environment.
What programs and services are provided to Residents?
Reduced Exposure Risk. The program provides information to increase awareness of hazardous materials and ways to prevent exposure to hazardous materials in your home and yard, such as using less toxic products, proper storage and proper disposal.
Call Center. Residents can call or e-mail the Household Hazardous Line and the Garden Hotline with your questions about hazardous materials, how to dispose of what is no longer needed and information about alternatives.
Collection and Disposal. Regardless of where you live in King County you can bring your household hazardous waste to one of our household hazardous waste collection facilities (in Auburn, Factoria, North Seattle and South Seattle) or our roving Wastemobile. Residents age 65 and older and residents with a disability can call the Home Collection Team for in-home collection and disposal of hazardous materials.
Policy Change. Creating change through product stewardship, such as the Secure Medicine Return. The program provides safe collection and disposal of unwanted medicines, keeping them out of the environment and reducing access for misuse and preventable poisonings.
Education and collection programs provided by grants to cities and tribes.
What programs and services are provided to businesses?
Technical Assistance. On-site consultations to help improve business practices and regulatory compliance that are available upon request to businesses throughout King County.
Cost share for small business improvements. The Financial incentives program offers qualified small businesses matching funds, up to $599, for business improvements that protect the environment and public health. Through this program businesses have purchased or repaired equipment, purchased spill control and containment and disposed of hazardous waste.
EnviroStars Green Business Recognition Program. EnviroStars certified businesses are recognized for taking action to protect the environment and employee health and safety. EnviroStars businesses use less toxic chemicals and follow business practices that reduce environmental impacts.
Customer call center. Businesses can call or e-mail the Business Waste Line with questions about hazardous materials, how to dispose of what is no longer needed and information about technical assistance, financial assistance and alternatives.
Collection Services. Businesses that generate small quantities of hazardous waste can use LHWMP’s collection facilities and the roving Wastemobile. Businesses with larger quantities of hazardous waste are referred to commercial disposal companies.
How is the program funded?
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County (LHWMP) is funded by fees on solid waste and sewer services in King County. Residents and businesses pay fees based on their garbage and sewer use. Local Hazardous Waste (LHW) fees are also charged for each trip to a solid waste transfer station or landfill. The King County Board of Health sets these fees. LHW fees are used to pay for program services to reduce the use of and exposure to hazardous products, materials, chemicals and wastes.
How much do King County residents and businesses pay now?
The Local Hazardous Waste fee schedule shown below lists the sources of funding and fees paid per month or per trip to the transfer station. These are the current rate for residents and businesses.
Local Hazardous Waste Fee Schedule
|REVENUE SOURCE||2017 / 2018 RATES|
|WASTEWATER FEE||$45.79 per 1 million gal./mo.|
|TRANSFER STATION / LANDFILL FEE|
|Private Vehicle||$1.81 per trip|
|Commercial Vehicle||$4.73 per ton|
|SOLID WASTE FEE|
|Single-Family Residential||$0.84 curbside per month|
|Commercial Cart||$1.46 per month (<0.48 cu. yds.)|
|Commercial Dumpster||$12.01 per month (>0.48 to <10 cu. yds.)|
|Commercial Roll-Off||$46.15 per month (>10 cu. yds.)|
Why is there a need to increase the current rates?
A rate increase is needed in order for the LHWMP to continue to provide King County businesses and residents with quality hazardous waste services. The current fee was established in 2012 as a flat rate that does not adjust with inflation. Based on current financial projections, LHWMP will require a rate increase to meet revenue needs after 2019 to keep up with the costs of providing hazardous waste services to the 2.1 residents and 60,000 businesses in King County.
• The number of people living in King County continues to grow in number and diversity. This places more demand on program services, especially as LHWMP works to more effectively work with and serve the diverse communities within its borders.
• The cost of providing services continues increases due to grow with inflation, labor-related costs and moderate risk waste operational costs. Collection costs also are increasing with additional demand for services.
• LHWMP will be providing additional moderate risk waste collection service in South King County by co-locating it with the new South King County Recycling and Transfer Station (SCRTS) starting in 2022. This will replace the Auburn Wastemobile service. It will increase service access for south county (and other) residents and businesses.
Who will be affected by the rate change?
This rate change will affect all King County residents and businesses with garbage and sewer accounts and who self-haul garbage to a transfer station, and the billing entities that collect the fees and pay them into the Local Hazardous Waste fund.
How will the new rates be decided?
These fees are set by the King County Board of Health. Prior to this we will work with the Board of Health, local utility providers and our agency partners to ensure that rate revenue sufficiently covers our expenditures and keep up with the rate of inflation.
When will rates change?
LHWMP anticipates taking a rate proposal to the King County Board of Health (Board) this March. The Board is expected to set LHWMP’s rates for 2019-2024 this spring. If the proposal is adopted, changes to the rates would become effective in January 2019 or later.
What are the new rates residents and businesses will pay?
The King County Board of Health is expected to set the program’s rates for 2019-2024 this spring. If the proposal is adopted, changes to the rates would become effective in January 2019 or later.
The following table shows current and initial proposed rates. The program’s Management Coordination Committee is currently reviewing and evaluating rates for revision prior to formally submitting a proposal to the King County Board of Health for approval.
In addition to the LHW fees listed above, the Program also receives a small portion of its revenue from state grants and interest on the hazardous waste fund balance.
What will the rate increase be used for?
Establishing rates to keep up with the demand and increasing costs will enable us to maintain needed hazardous waste services over the next several years. LHW fees are used to pay for program services to reduce the use of and exposure to hazardous products, materials, chemicals and wastes. Programs and services include collection services, education programs, technical assistance for businesses and policy initiatives.
What will happen if the rates are not increased?
If LHWMP does not get the increase it seeks it will be forced to cut the programs and services it offers including focus projects for residents and businesses, policy work promotion, information and web-based resources, technical and social research and community partnerships.
Will fees change for recycling, composting, or yard waste services?
No, the Local Hazardous Waste fee is not charged for recycling, composting or yard waste services.