Posted January 4, 2023
Community members in unincorporated Washington County who live at or below 185% of the federal poverty level – $51,338 per year for a household of four – can have their garbage and recycling bills cut by 75%. This brings the cost of the standard 32-gallon per week garbage and recycling service to just $7 per month, thanks to a new reduced rate program.
The Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved the reduced rate program in June 2022. It applies only to those who pay their garbage and recycling company directly for service. Based on 2022 rate review findings, the reduced rate program was able to be implemented with no increase to ratepayers.
“Instead of implementing a universal rate decrease, the County opted to implement a reduced rate program for low-income households,” said Thomas Egleston, Solid Waste & Recycling manager. “This allows the rates for most customers to remain constant and the system to fund the reduced rate program, giving low-income community members a significant discount on essential services instead of marginally lowering rates across the entire customer base.”
The program’s eligibility requirements match those of several other assistance programs for energy and nutritional support, making the screening and eligibility review process simpler. If a family already qualifies for nutritional support from WIC or their school’s free and reduced lunch program, they will qualify for the garbage and recycling reduced rate program.
Washington County is partnering with Community Action to make the application process easy for community members. Individuals can apply online, in person or request an application by mail. To learn more and access the application, visit https://www.washingtoncountyor.gov/swr/reduced-rate-program.
For more information about garbage and recycling in Washington County, visit www.WashingtonCountyRecycles.com.