(The Center Square) – Spokane City Council members approved two multimillion-dollar contracts Monday for ongoing mechanical repairs at the Spokane Waste-to-Energy Incineration Plant and for the disposal of excess solid waste or not treatable from the installation.
The council approved a five-year agreement that will pay $4.5 million a year to Kirkland-based Waste Management of Washington to transport and dispose of “bypass waste” from the plant. THE service contract comes into force in mid-November and can be renewed after five years. Its initial transportation price is $58.95 per ton for the first year and can then be adjusted based on the federal Consumer Price Index.
According to city documents, Waste Management was the preferred choice of three bidders. Responses were also received from Waste Connections of Vancouver and Regional Disposal Co. of Redmond.
The facility’s operating permit does not permit the accumulation of waste on site and violations may result in fines. Diversion waste is described as municipal solid waste that can be combusted but not burned due to seasonal peaks, reduced operations due to maintenance, or other excess facility capacity issues. The contract specifically excludes recyclables and other materials deemed unacceptable, such as hazardous waste.
Bypass and non-treatable waste will be sent to various transfer or disposal sites in the region. The contract specifies that Waste Management assumes responsibility for accidents during transport or nuisances such as spills, leaks or odors.
Located near the Spokane International Airport, the waste-to-energy facility burns municipal solid waste and recovers energy in the form of electricity. It can incinerate up to 800 tons of waste per day, generating 22 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 13,000 homes – which is sold to Avista Utilities, earning about $5 million in electricity sales per year, according to city information. The process reduces the volume of solid waste by 90% and the resulting ash is considered biologically inert.
Maintenance of the WTE installation was the subject of a separate contract. The council approved a one-year, $2.2 million agreement with Knight Construction and Supply Inc. of Deer Park for mechanical repairs, including specialized millwright services and scheduled and emergency maintenance .
Knight Construction was the sole bidder and the contract, which takes effect Nov. 1, was a second renewal with the possibility of four additional annual renewals with prices subject to prevailing wage rates.
Expenses for both contracts had already been budgeted and no opposition was expressed by council members when approving the agreements.