All new fees are now in effect as of November 2nd, 2023.
Low Income Discount Program
The low income program will begin at the same time the new fee schedule is implemented.
King County is the only other county that provides this service.
Why have the Solid Waste fees been raised?
- The solid waste program is a self-funding operation.
- The garbage disposal fees fund more than 99% of Solid Waste’s operations.
- Since 2019, Solid Waste’s reserve fund has been spent down to its minimal balance. We must keep up with rising operational costs.
- Solid Waste fees pay for all programs, including:
- Recycling, with four fee-free drop off facilities, two of them open 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Four Household Hazardous Waste collection events a year throughout Jefferson County.
- Two Environmental Centers located at the Transfer Station and Quilcene Drop Box that provide fee-free safe disposal for motor oil, antifreeze, mercury-containing lightbulbs, and rechargeable and lithium-ion batteries.
- Fee-free disposal of sharps at the Transfer Station and Quilcene Drop Box facilities.
- Solid Waste education and community outreach focusing on rescuing food for local food banks.
- Closed landfill groundwater monitoring.
- A 2022 comparison to King County’s and Seattle’s solid waste program found that we have the same or better level of service. We compared materials accepted and the distance customers have to travel to get to facilities. This level of service is expensive to maintain. If we wanted to continue providing the same level of service as the largest metropolitan area in Washington State, we had to raise the fee. If we wanted to keep the same fee, then services would need to be reduced to cut costs. We chose to continue to provide the programs listed above.
- The minimum fee was last adjusted 9 years ago in 2014. 45% of our customers bring less than the minimum weight of 120 lbs., causing increased wait times and wear and tear on already worn equipment. Transfer Stations across the state set minimum fees to encourage fewer, heavier loads to lower costs and improve efficiency. Convenience is expensive.
Jefferson County’s new minimum fee is slightly lower than the average of all Washington Counties West of the Cascade Mountains.
Jefferson County’s per ton fee is slightly higher than the average of all Washington Counties West of the Cascade Mountains.