Borough faces price increase for trash disposal; ratepayers unaffected for now

The borough’s contract with waste disposal company Republic is up for renewal and the company has proposed a 25% price increase for its services to Wrangell.

Other Southeast communities have contracts with Republic that are set to expire next year, so Wrangell hopes to join with them and bargain collectively for a more affordable contract. “We talked about partnering with them to get a bigger contract and have a little more negotiating power,” said Borough Manager Jeff Good.

However, that approach won’t be possible for Wrangell in the short term, since the borough’s contract expires this July. To avoid absorbing the hike, the borough is reaching out to other waste disposal companies for quotes, in hopes of finding a lower price.

Wrangell and the other communities send their trash south by barge; Republic moves the containers by train to a permitted landfill in Eastern Washington state.

Trash disposal rates for residents were set to increase 5.5% at the March 28 assembly meeting. The hike will go into effect July 1. The increase was intended to keep up with inflation and fund the upcoming purchase of a new garbage truck.

If the borough can’t find a cheaper alternative to Republic and has to pay more for trash disposal, that price change wouldn’t affect taxpayers until rates are reevaluated next year.


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