WasteWise manager Casey Bouchard. File photo by Sue Misao

WasteWise manager Casey Bouchard. File photo by Sue Misao

By Don Nelson

Customers of WasteWise, the valley’s garbage and recycling collection business, will see small increases in their next bills because the state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) is now allowing the company to pass along a utility tax assessment that is paid to the towns of Winthrop and Twisp.

For as long as anyone can remember, the company (previously known as Methow Valley Sanitation Service before it came under new ownership and allied with Methow Recycling Roundup) simply paid the tax – 9 percent of pickup fees in Twisp and 7 percent in Winthrop – to the towns out of its own resources, according to manager Casey Bouchard.

With the change of ownership, Bouchard said, the company became aware that it could have been passing the assessment along to its customers, as permitted under UTC regulations. The UTC recently approved WasteWise’s request to do just that, Bouchard said.

The towns will continue to receive the same amount of money from the assessment, Bouchard said. The assessment will apply to town residents and to businesses within the town limits, he said.

For instance, a Twisp resident who now pays $4.90 a month for garbage pickup would see that increase to $5.34, Bouchard said – with all of the increase going into the town coffers.

Not paying the assessment out of its own accounts will help the company’s bottom line, Bouchard said. He noted that all fees the company charges are regulated “down to the penny” by the UTC. For more information, call WasteWise at 997-8862.