Expect business-as-usual for local garbage collection.
Spokane Valley will continue to contract with Waste Management for the foreseeable future, as the City Council approved a multiyear contract to the garbage-disposal company on Tuesday night.
Waste Management edged Waste Connections and the local Sunshine Recyclers Inc. in competitive requests for proposals with a collection rate of just over $12 million annually for single family, multifamily and commercial hauling for the next 10 years.
City staffers recommended that Waste Management continue to provide the service as there would be “no transition” to Valley customers. However, universal carts – provided by the company – will now be required at no additional cost as they are more efficient and do not require employees to exit trucks to dump trash in the vehicles.
Currently, 3,497 Spokane Valley customers use their own garbage cans.
“People will get used to it,” said Council Member Michael Munch. “It doesn’t cost them anything extra.”
More controversial was a proposed amendment by Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard that an extra 9-cent-per-month charge be added for an optional household cleanup service that would allow users to have bulky items like appliances or furniture picked up once per year.
“It’s an infringement on people’s liberties,” said Council Member Caleb Collier. “It’s taking money from some who will never use the service and giving it to somebody else.”
Mayor Rod Higgins disagreed, saying that it could help in cleaning up nuisance homes with an overabundance of junk in their yards.
“For 9 cents a month, I’m on board,” he said.
Most spoke in favor of Waste Management continuing to haul away their trash each week.
“I’ve never had an opportunity to complain,” said Joy Lynn. “If it works, don’t fix it.”