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Leaner and greener: Snoqualmie's new trash contract starts June 1
Starting this week, less of Snoqualmie's solid waste will go to waste.
That's the main idea behind the city's new contract with Waste Management, approved last November and official on June 1.
The hauler was selected in large part because it's taking a greener approach to what's typically termed 'garbage.'
While some rates for trash bins will rise, the contract makes it easier for single-family-home residents to recycle their food and yard waste.
City rates are $22 per month for weekly 32-gallon cart trash pick-up, with a $3.13 fee for a bear-proof container.
But it's the 64-gallon recycling cart, and the 96 gallon curbside yard/food waste cart, included at no extra fee for residential customers, that may spur some greener behaviors.
"They're not paying extra for one service over another," said Robin Friedman, the corporate spokeswoman for Waste Management.
"Mayor Larson and the City Council wanted to hire a service provider that was very future-thinking," Friedman said. "We wanted to partner with the city to think more about sustainability."
"We're doing some fascinating thinking in terms of recycling, compressed natural gas, for a lower carbon footprint. I believe that's why the city decided to go with us as a service provider," she added.
Motor oil can now be accepted for recycling, curbside, every week. Waste Management will also accept cooking oil at a community drop-off site.
The emphasis on a greener approach goes all the way down to little details.
The recycling carts, Friedman said, have special decals so that, when opened, they remind residents that their recyclables need to be empty and clean.
Waste Management's seven-year contract is good through May 31, 2019. Trash service is not billed through the city, but directly to the customer.
Some parts of the transition, away from previous provider Allied Waste/Republic—Allied is still the hauler for North Bend— will be easy, others challenging. The challenge, city officials say, will be to ensure Snoqualmie customers get the bins they want.
Existing bins will be collected by Allied, with Waste Management providing new carts free of charge. According to the city, following the transition, some residents may find they have less garbage due to recycling options, at which time bins can be swapped.
There also may be confusion at first for a few hundred customers regarding their new day of collection. They should refer to their welcome letter or the letter attached to their new container.
The easy part of the change, according to the city, is that all parties have a good transition plan in place. Hundreds attended the two community barbecues that Waste Management held in the city to introduce residents to the change. Mailers also went out, and can be viewed at the city website. Information on rates can be found at http://www.wmnorthwest.com/snoqualmie/