Olympic Disposal to begin collecting bins in Port Angeles on Monday

Lawsuit against city continues

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Disposal will begin picking up its recycling and yard waste bins in Port Angeles on Monday.

In March, the Port Angeles City Council voted to end its contract with the company and instructed City Manager Nathan West to do whatever was necessary to assume all solid waste utility operations into the city by early October.

The city already handles trash collections.

Starting on Monday, Olympic Disposal will remove its recycling and yard waste bins from residential areas as well as its commercial cardboard recycling containers from businesses, with a goal of collecting all of them by Oct. 3.

If residents still have items in the bins, the haulers will dispose of those items and a third-party company will pick the bins up, the company said in a press release.

Olympic Disposal is asking that its customers set out their bins over the course of the next two weeks for collection and that all questions regarding bin replacement and recycling be directed to the city.

“It is our understanding that the city will be providing customers with new recycling carts, yard waste carts, and commercial cardboard containers, though a timeline has not been shared with Olympic Disposal,” the release said.

The news that the city was terminating the contract, a decision made in March, came as a blow to Olympic Disposal, said Matt O’Connell, division vice president for Olympic Disposal.

“That was totally within their right per our agreement with them,” O’Connell said. “They had an out, so they made a decision and a choice to end our contract and bring those services in-house, and we respect that.”

O’Connell said city officials terminated the contract “with little explanation and no noted issue with the service we have provided.”

Olympic Disposal, a subsidiary of Waste Connections Inc. of The Woodlands, Texas, sued the City of Port Angeles for $4.8 million in June 2020, claiming unpaid fees and a breach of contract.

The company had been making claims against the city since 2017, claims that city officials said would result in increased rates for customers.

City officials denied the claims in the lawsuit, which was filed while mediation was still in progress; provided additional funds to Foster Garvey PC, the Seattle firm that represented the city in mediation and in litigation; and voted in March to take over the service by Oct. 2, on the 15th anniversary of the contract.

The lawsuit continues separately from the change in services.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at [email protected]

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