North Bend garbage pickup rates increase again under Recology

Residents will see a 101% rate increase from the previous provider.

On Feb. 20, the North Bend City Council approved an ordinance allowing garbage collection rate increases between the 2023 projected rates and what Recology will charge customers starting April 1.

The city entered into a contract with Recology on March 21, 2023, allowing the company to increase rates at the beginning of each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“We received prices from three contractors: Waste Management, Recology and Republic,” said Public Works Director Mark Rigos. “All three of the prices went up a tremendous amount.”

The city’s current contractor, Republic Services, whose contract with the city ends on March 31, projected a 104% increase in rates prior to the inclusion of an increase to reflect the CPI.

The initial rate of service provided by Recology in 2023 for a 32-gallon residential garbage can, picked up weekly, was $51.56 per month — 94% higher than the current Republic Services rate of $26.56.

The new Recology rates, received by the city on Dec. 9, 2023, reflect a 4.5% increase in the CPI for the Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue areas and an increase in landfill tipping fees charged by King County.

“Just like most costs and services go up yearly, it’s the same with solid waste,” Public Works Director Mark Rigos said. “In 2023, [Recology] didn’t know how much it would go up.”

The 2024 projected rate for a 32-gallon garbage can with Recology is $53.59 monthly — a 3.9% increase from the 2023 projections.

From Republic’s 2023 projections to Recology’s 2024 rates, North Bend customers will see a price increase of 101%.

“None of us like to see fee increases,” said Councilmember Mark Joselyn. “This council and its wisdom, after an extended process, made what we felt to be the best choice for the citizens of this town based on the options that were provided.”

The ordinance passed with four council members voting yes and two voting no. The dissenting votes came from Christina Rustik and Suzan Torguson.

While those who voted no found the 3.9% rate increase before the service start date in bad form, the majority remain cautiously optimistic.

“We’re raising these on ourselves, we get these same bills,” said Councilmember Heather Koellen. “I do think Recology will be a better partner. Definitely some great customer service and better recycling options. I’m hopeful it’s going to be great.”