Garbage companies hike customer rates

POLK COUNTY -- The impact of high gas prices on garbage rates continues in the county as both Western Oregon Waste and Valley Recycling and Disposal are raising rates after posting losses last year.

POLK COUNTY -- The impact of high gas prices on garbage rates continues in the county as both Western Oregon Waste and Valley Recycling and Disposal are raising rates after posting losses last year.

At a public hearing Aug. 18, Valley Recycling and Disposal requested a rate increase for the first time in 14 years for its drop box solid waste collection service.

The 325 customers in the West Salem area will see a change in their service fee from $110 to $160, effective Oct. 1.

Jim Solvedt, the environmental health supervisor and solid waste administrator for the county, said Valley is only adjusting one service rate as the drop box collection is losing the most revenue because of vehicle operating costs, depreciation costs and disposal fees.

Western Oregon Waste, whose last rate increase was in 2005, requested an increase of 9.35 percent for residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Grande Ronde area.

Operating costs rose because of fuel prices and disposal rates at the landfill.

Solvedt said both increases were justified and comparable to services in other counties. Polk County Hearings Officer Bob Oliver approved the rate increases after hearing no objections by residents.

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