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Clatskanie residents may have noticed a slight increase on their solid waste collection services the last two months, after the Clatskanie City Council unanimously approved the ask from Hudson Garbage District Manager Herb Bailey in June.

Bailey appeared before the council at a June 5th meeting to request a four percent rate increase due to the County Transfer Station rate increase, increased operational costs, and employment turnover. The increase, Bailey said, would amount to roughly $0.17 per customer, or $0.87 per week.

The new rates went into effect on July 1.

“We haven’t requested an operational increase for a few years, and our last request was related to the recycling debacle that we’ve seen across the country,” Bailey said.

According to Hudson Garbage documents, in May of 2018, the company received a 6.4 increase in garbage and recycling rates due to the “National Sword” policy that China implemented in 2017. The policy made it so that the quality of recyclable materials that China would accept would be much higher than they previously accepted, Bailey told The Chief at the time.

The latest increase, Bailey said, is largely down to increased operational costs.

“I just think the biggest thing for us is to maintain our operational expenses. With that, it helps us maintain our equipment, so we can safely service our customers throughout the county,” Bailey said.

Additionally, although Bailey said Hudson Garbage has not historically seen a lot of turnover, he has seen some in the last two years. He said the company wants to secure their wages, so they can remain competitive in what is currently a tough market.

“We’re competing with local partners in the community, whether it be Cascade, local trucking companies, or things like that,” Bailey said. “With the unemployment rate as low as it is, it’s really a pretty competitive market.”

Bailey said he’s had a little bit of pushback from Clatskanie residents on the increase, but not as much as he’d expected.

“I think people in general understand that expenses, fuel, labor, parts – they go up,” Bailey said.

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