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Environmental Services Rate Increase

Environmental Services Rate Increase


Jan. 7, 2015



Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160

Megan Marquett, Media and Communications, mmarquett@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051

Stacy Ellifritt, Media and Communications, stacy.ellifritt@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005


Environmental Services Rate Increase Took Effect Jan. 1

Rate increases for the City of Tacoma’s EnvironmentalServices customers took effect on Jan. 1. These rate increases will impact solid waste, wastewater and surface water services.

The City’s Environmental Services are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens and ratepayers of Tacoma through solid waste, surface water and wastewater management services. The typical Tacoma residential customer will pay a combined total of $5.75 more each month for these services. This customer has a 60-gallon garbage container, lives on a 7,000-square-foot lot and uses six ccf (100 cubic feet) of fresh water each month.

A further breakdown of these rates by services is as follows:

Residential Curbside

Customers with 60-gallon garbage service every other week will see an increase of $2.04. Bills for customers with 45-gallon garbage service, the next most popular size, will increase by $1.53.

Monthly rates for every-other-week garbage collection:

Container size                     2014                       2015                                   

45-gallon can                      $27.42                   $28.95

60-gallon can                      $36.55                   $38.59


Recycling, yard/food waste, Call-2-Haul and household hazardous waste disposal services are included in the cost of residential garbage collection.

Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center (formerly Tacoma Landfill) disposal fees have also increased. The minimum charge per load for all customers will be $15.

The new rates are:

  • City residents: $15 for the first 400 pounds,and $6.50 per 100-pound increment above 400 pounds
  • Non-city residents: $7.50 per 100-pound increment (minimum $15 charge)
  • Commercial customers: $6.50 per 100-pound increment (minimum $15 charge)


Solid waste rates and fees help pay for:

  • Collection of garbage, recycling and food/yard waste
  • Operation of the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center
  • Transportation and disposal of  waste material at a landfill
  • Other infrastructure, operational and overhead costs for the landfill and environmental stewardship
  • Programs such as Call-2-Haul, the nuisance cleanup program, neighborhood cleanups and the Household Hazardous Waste Facility


Wastewater Management residential customers will see an average increase of $2.60 per month. Wastewater charges are based on the amount of fresh water a household uses during the four most recent winter months when water usage should be at its lowest – typically December through March. The monthly wastewater bill for a single-family home using 6 ccf of water a month during the winter will go from $43.20 to $45.80.

Wastewater rates help pay for:

  • Operation and maintenance of the City’s wastewater collection and treatment system, including repair and replacement of the aging pipes underground
  • Upgrades to the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Preventing pollution of Commencement Bay    

Surface Water Management residential customers will see an average rate increase of $1.11 per month, depending on lot size and level of development. The rate for a typical single-family lot (7,000 square feet) goes from $19.97 in 2014 to $21.08 per month in 2015.

Surface Water rates help pay for:

  • Operation and maintenance of stormwater pipes and catch basins
  • Pollution prevention
  • Efforts to control urban flooding
  • Stormwater system inspections and monitoring
  • Projects needed to meet state requirements


Residents who qualify as low-income seniors or low-income disabled may be eligible for a rate reduction. Financial assistance for low-income families is also available. If you think you might qualify, call Customer Solutions at (253)502-8400 to find out how to apply. Details are on the Tacoma Public Utilities website, mytpu.org.

For more information, visit cityoftacoma.org/esrates or call Environmental Services Billing & Technical Services at (253) 502-2100.