County Council backs extension of garbage contract

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to support a contract extension of up to five years with Allied Waste to export the county’s trash to Eastern Washington.

The 5-0 vote put a cap to months of discussion about the extension, which is intended to give the county time to prepare to open up the work to competing bids for the first time in two decades.

The county’s contract with Allied had been set to expire next year. The extension provides an additional four years, plus an extra year if needed. It allows the county to terminate the contract with six months’ notice, if it selects another company for the $20-million-per-year job of hauling some 400,000 tons of trash for disposal east of the Cascade Range.

During Wednesday’s council hearing, Allied Waste employees spoke in favor of the extension, as did Monroe Mayor Robert Zimmerman and a commissioner from Klickitat County, where Allied ships Snohomish County’s trash.

A consultant for Waste Management said the company is prepared to compete for the work by offering good rates and state-of-the-industry technologies.

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