Like MENSA, Only Thicker

Spokane Waste

Finally, Spokane’s nightmarish waste-to-energy bond payments ($250 million over 20 years) are about to end, and hopefully along with it, the Regional Solid Waste System.

County commissioners are circulating a draft interlocal agreement amongst the various municipalities to form a new Solid Waste Alliance (http://spokanewastetoenergy.com/DraftInterlocal.doc). Regrettably, this first draft has some major flaws that need immediate change. The agreement requires payments to Spokane County equal to 6 percent of their tipping fee gross receipts, deemed necessary because the county doesn’t have taxing authority over your garbage.
The agreement also continues the county’s anti-competition provision, called flow-control, put in place 20 years ago to force county ratepayers to cover the city’s bond payments. Now its only purpose is to guarantee fewer choices, higher dump fees and more government income, courtesy of monopoly control.

I believe that the electorate has been quite clear on such matters – we don’t want higher taxes or bigger government.

The city of Spokane has been a horrible manager of the Regional Solid Waste System — dictatorial, self-serving and inept. Spokane County has an opportunity for real improvements to our broken solid waste system. Unfortunately, the proposal as written is a step backward for the region’s beleaguered ratepayers. 

Craig Sullivan








dENSA Notes:

The Spokane Waste to Energy Plant could have been bought and paid for many times over with what the citizens of Spokane County have paid in tipping and collection fees; however, this plant and all system assets are owned exclusively by the City of Spokane.

It is curious how the Spokane City managed Regional Solid Waste System has generated years of operating loses in the $7-9 million range, but the city’s own basic waste collection system has accumulated a $40 million surplus?

Spokane Mayor Mary Vernor has recently proposed extending the city’s 20% utility tax on garbage disposal to all the County under a recent annexation agreement.  This on top of the $100 per ton it already over-charges county residents and businesses.


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