Hermiston Customers to See Big Jump in Garbage Bill On April 1


Hermiston residents will pay 37 percent more each month for garbage service beginning April 1.

The Hermiston City Council on Monday voted to approve a rate hike request by Waste Connections, Inc. (WCI). Beginning April 1, residential customers with 90-gallon cans will pay $29.05 per month, an increase of $7.92 over the current rate of $21.13. Residential customers with 35-gallon cans will pay $17.46, an increase of $4.76 over the current rate of $12.70. Commercial customers will pay $120.82 per month, an increase of $32.95 over the current rate of $87.87.

WCI purchased Sanitary Disposal, Inc., a locally owned business, two years ago. It continues to do business in Hermiston as SDI. Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said the previous owner got out of the business due to the “increasingly complex, volatile and expensive nature of the industry.”

Morgan said WCI chose to operate for the past coule of years before assessing any rate changes to determine the actual cost of doing business.

Morgan said the main factor in the rate increase request is aging equipment that needs to be replaced. SDI indicated the age of its fleet of trucks is nearly 30 years old. Kevin Miracle, district manager for SDI, said a typical truck has a lifespan of about 10 years.

Morgan said a fleet of aging trucks leads to down time due to break downs, which means increased maintenance costs. Finding replacement parts for 30-year-old vehicles is also becoming more difficult and expensive, Morgan said. SDI is also facing higher wage demands from the labor market.

Morgan said the new rates are comparable to nearby cities. Pendleton residential customers with 35-gallon cans pay $16.75 while those with 90-gallon cans pay $33.60. Pilot Rock residential customers pay $23.25 and $43.25, respectively. Commercial customers in Pendleton pay $124.92 while in Pilot Rock they pay $127.75.

Miracle said the rate adjustments will put the company on sound financial footing going forward.

“The increase is large, but it will get us where we need to be,” he said. Beginning next year, Miracle said SDI will use the Consumer Price Index to determine rate adjustments. He estimated that next year, the rate increase would likely be 3 percent.

Councilor Nancy Peterson pointed out that the city has a program for reduced residential rates for senior citizens that is under utilized.

Morgan said it is anticipated that the new rates will increase the revenue to the city’s General Fund by approximately $180,000 per year.


  1. WCI didn’t know the actual cost of doing business when they bought SDI?? I find that hard to believe. And now, only 2 years later the equipment is old? Something is kinda fishy here…

  2. We need a law that keeps people from stacking garbage up in trailers and pickups before disposing of it. Also need someone that will work on the city code rules. The street right behind Extapa Restaurant has some places that look terrible. We need to have a clean up week. This town could use some serious cleanup.

  3. Between water hikes, sewer hikes and now garbage hikes the total monthly increase cost is KILLING people on fixed budgets and young families starting out. Yes, it doesn’t SEEM like much, till you add all the increases together and then it is ALOT! Not to mention Hermiston has one of the highest property taxes in the state of Oregon.


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