By KATE REARDON
EVERETT — Rubatino garbage customers will pay higher rates next year if a state commission approves a recent request.
If approved, it will be the company’s first increase in seven years.
A new contract with Rubatino’s Teamsters workers and rising fuel prices are the main reasons the company is asking the state’s utilities commission to approve a rate increase, said Larry Goulet, Rubatino office manager.
Rubatino, operating here since 1907, serves customers in Everett and Mukilteo. Neither city requires garbage pickup nor operates its own garbage pickup services.
Each year, Rubatino collects about 75,000 tons of garbage from more than 16,000 residential customers and about 3,000 commercial business customers.
If the state Utilities and Transportation Commission approves the request, customers would see an increase Jan. 1.
Residential increases would go from $16.10 a month for one can of trash to $17.90. There is no proposed increase for yard-waste buckets, which cost $8.90 a month from March to November.
Before approving the increase, auditors will examine the company’s financial books. Washington state is one of the few states that regulates the garbage industry, Goulet said.
"It’s a done deal when they say it’s a done deal," Goulet said. "We don’t have the ultimate say, the state has the ultimate say."
The commission regulates various businesses for consumer protection, said Tim Sweeney, a spokesman with the utilities commission.
People usually only want one garbage truck running down their street, Sweeney said, adding that the commission does not regulate city-run garbage pickup services or companies that contract with cities for garbage pickup.
The commission will likely decide on the Rubatino rate increase request Dec. 27, Sweeney said.
Rubatino trash is taken to the Snohomish County transfer station, loaded onto trucks and shipped to a landfill in Roosevelt, Wash.
For more information about the proposed increases, call Rubatino at 425-259-0044. To comment to the state utilities commission, call 1-800-564-6150 or write P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504.
The commission’s Web site is www.wutc.wa.gov
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