Garbage rates to increase in Ocean Shores

Garbage rates are increasing in Ocean Shores and some customers who pay for 30-gallon service will get a new, smaller can.

The Ocean Shores City Council learned of the new rates Oct. 22 when representatives of Lemay Enterprises explained the rate increase is tied to the 3.4 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ending in June. The contract with the city allows Lemay to charge 80 percent of the CPI, for a 2.72 percent increase in the existing general rates, said a letter from site manager Roger Swalander.

The contract also allows the pass-through of any disposal increases, which will go up $3.85 per ton effective Jan. 1.

The new city rates also will go up Jan. 1 for Ocean Shores customers.

The new cans will replace ones that are 60-gallon large with 30-gallon inserts placed in them.

“We have people out there who are lugging these huge cans even though they have just a 30-gallon service,” City Finance Director Angela Folkers said in explaining what Lemay proposed. The 30-gallon cans, she said, are “way easier to maneuver.”

Resident Don Williams said he didn’t want “to get less garbage service for more money,” noting he already pays an extra fee to get a larger garbage can that is the same size as his recycle bin. “I don’t think I want to go to a smaller can and pay more money.”

Swalander brought out the actual cans for the Council and public to see. He showed how people who get 30-gallon service currently have the large can with the smaller insert inside, and pointed to the smaller cart.

“It’s not less service than this (larger) cart,” he said. New customers now will get the new, 30-gallon items.

Council member Jon Martin asked what steps the city could take to get yard waste pick-up started as part of the contract. Swalander noted that the issue of yard waste pick-up had been studied in the past. “Each time, the participation rate wasn’t high enough, or the cost was too much and nobody wanted to do it,” he said, adding “it was something we can look at.”

Martin also asked the company to consider some sort of large pick-up site in the area, since the former county transfer site at Hogan’s Corner has been closed for nearly a decade.

“It could be possible if you wanted to talk about it. How that would look and what the dynamics of it would be, we could start discussions and I am very open to doing that,” the Lemay official said. The city would have to make that decision.