Council to Consider Garbage and Recycling Rates for 2020 and 2021 on November 12

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On Nov. 12, 2019 at 6 p.m., the Salem City Council will host a public hearing to receive testimony regarding establishing new solid waste collection rates and charges. Community members can testify at the public hearing or provide feedback via email by Nov. 12 at 3:30 p.m.

If approved, adjusted rates would become effective January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The full list of proposed rates will be available in the staff report that will be available online by 5 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 7, 2019, and will also be available at the City of Salem Finance Department.

Key points

Why does the City Council weigh in on garbage and recycling rates?

The City of Salem does not provide garbage and recycling services directly to business and residential customers. Through the private market, establishing franchise contracts with the six haulers in Salem, the City can offer an efficient and quality garbage and recycling service. The rates for garbage and recycling service are regulated by the franchise contract. The City Council considers changes to the contract, including service rates. 

When were garbage rates last adjusted? 

Rates currently in effect were approved in the fall of 2018 and became effective January 1, 2019. Every year, the haulers submit an operating statement to the City showing their cost of service, and if necessary, request adjustments to service rates. Because the haulers provide service through a franchise agreement, the City Council is tasked with considering their need for a rate increase in a public hearing.

How much are rates going up?

Most customers subscribe to 35 gallon cart service. The monthly rate for 35 gallon cart service in the Marion County portion of Salem is proposed to increase by 4.25% or $1.25 per month ($1.30 per month in 2021). The monthly rate for a 35 gallon cart service in the Polk County portion of Salem is proposed to increase by 5.0% or $1.20 per month ($1.25 per month in 2021). Data provided by the haulers, and confirmed through an independent, third-party analysis, show increases in the cost of service correspond to the proposed rate increases. The proposed service rates are designed to provide smaller incremental increases annually, rather than steep increases every couple of years.

Will rates effect business customers and residential customers alike?

Yes. The proposed rate changes reflect the true cost of service for each customer type and the service they subscribe to.

What is happening with recycled materials now?

Data provided by the haulers shows that significant market changes which brought about the sharp increases over the last couple of years, appear to be over. Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) tracks recycling statewide. For more, check out the DEQ web page.

What can I do with my recycling? 

For helpful recycling tips for all sorts of material, check in with Marion County's Environmental Services.

Meeting information 

Salem City Council meetings are held in Council Chambers, 555 Liberty Street SE, Room 240.

The Salem City Council Rules, which include the procedures for conduct of hearings before the City Council, are available at the City of Salem Recorder, Civic Center, 555 Liberty Street SE, Room 205, Salem Oregon 97301, 503-588-6097 and online. Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations shall be provided on request upon 24 hours advance notice.

Contact us

City Recorder
Monday–Friday
8 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 205
Salem OR 97301
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