Art Kuenzi, vice president of Suburban Garbage Services, examines a recycling bin on Southeast 45th Avenue on a recent morning. He said his company has struggled in 2018. (Troy Brynelson/Salem Reporter)

It will now be Marion County’s turn to sift through the issue of garbage collection fees.

Days after Salem City Council raised rates for garbage and recycling customers in city limits, Marion County announced Friday it plans to dive in.

County commissioners will hold a public hearing Nov. 28 whether to raise rates that would impact residents in unincorporated Marion County. Rates would vary by whether customers live inside or outside Salem’s urban growth boundary.

Customers inside face a $2.88 per month increase, if they have a typical 35-gallon bin, to $28.16. Customers outside face $2.90 per month bump, to $30.42.

The increases come as haulers’ profits have reportedly gone to the dumps, largely due to China’s decision late last year to stop importing recyclables. In turn, the cost to recycle at other markets has risen.

A recent staff report from the city of Salem said four Marion County haulers could have seen their pre-tax profit margins drop from 8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2019, had Salem not risen its rates.

Gas prices and fees at landfills are also playing a role for haulers in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

The specific factors impacting haulers in unincorporated Marion County are not yet clear, but a staff report is expected to come out this week, said spokeswoman Jolene Kelley.

Marion County is accepting public comment ahead of the meeting. Emails can be sent to [email protected], letters to P.O. Box 14500, Salem, OR, 97309 or delivered by hand to 555 Court St. N.E., Suite 5232.

The public hearing is slated for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 28 at the Senator Hearing Room, 555 Court St. NE.

Have a tip? Contact reporter Troy Brynelson at 503-575-9930, [email protected] or @TroyWB.