The Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) Department of Solid Waste Services (SWS) will raise rates in 2019 to maintain safe and efficient trash disposal and collection service for Anchorage residents.
The Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to approve the rates Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. You can find the approved rate increases for Collections here (AO 2018-98) and Disposal here (AO-2018-99).
Why are you increasing rates?
SWS has been operating without any rate increases since 2012. During that time, SWS has utilized the same budget while operational costs have continued to increase. Without an increase, SWS would have run a deficit in 2019.
The MOA enjoys some of the lowest rates of trash disposal in Southcentral Alaska. For comparison, the disposal cost per ton of trash in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is more than double the current rate in Anchorage.
Why two separate rate increases?
SWS operates two MOA utilities under one department.
SWS Disposal rates apply to operations at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, Central Transfer Station and Girdwood Transfer Station. These fees cover the cost of final disposal of all refuse generated in the MOA.
SWS Collections rates apply to residential and commercial trash and recycling collection services in the area that was formerly the old City of Anchorage. Trash service in this area is mandatory. No private haulers may provide trash service in this area unless given an exemption.
If you are an SWS collections customer the rate increases are NOT compounded. Disposal fees make up a small percent of SWS overall collection costs. Other collection costs include fuel, vehicle maintenance and operators.
What would a rate increase mean for my bill?
If you receive trash collection service from SWS, collection rates will increase by 5 percent in 2019. They have not been raised since 2008.
Looking for another service not listed? You can find rates here.
How will this affect trash disposal rates?
Those who only use SWS disposal facilities (the Central Transfer Station, Girdwood Transfer Station and Anchorage Regional Landfill) will see a 6.25 percent increase.
The $1 charge per bag of up to four 32-gallon bags will not change under the new rate increases.
If I’m not an SWS customer will my trash rates increase?
SWS does not set rates for private trash haulers operating within the Municipality. These haulers include, but are not limited to, Alaska Waste, Northern Waste, Red Box Refuse and Blue Arctic Waste. Private haulers propose rates which are then approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. An increase in disposal costs will likely mean a rate increase for those using a private hauling service, however disposal fees are only a small portion of the overall cost of service.
Are recycling, hazardous waste or unsecured load fees changing?
No, these fees are not increasing as part of the new rate increases.
Are these rate increases being used to pay for building a new Central Transfer Station?
In October 2018 the Anchorage Assembly approved the SWS Integrated Solid Waste Master Plan, the plan of finance and purchase of land for a new transfer station as outlined in the master plan. The rate increases allow SWS to build this much-needed infrastructure.
A new transfer station will replace the current facilities which are deteriorating, outdated and provide inadequate levels of service due to long wait times, safety concerns and lack of recycling opportunities. Repairs of the current transfer station would mean long, expensive, multi-year closures. Those will cause disruption and additional costs for private haulers that would ultimately be paid for by residents.
Building a new transfer station allows SWS to continue operations with minimal impact to customers. It also improves safety and reduces wait times for all users. A new facility will also provide additional recycling and waste diversion options that save residents money in the long-term by extending the life of the Anchorage Regional Landfill.
When do the rates go into effect?
The rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
What if I still have questions?
Please contact SWS Customer Service at (907) 343-6250 or email email@example.com with additional questions and we will be happy to help you.
Solid Waste Services Master Plan
Presentation to Anchorage Assembly Oct. 18 & 19, 2018