Fitch Ratings, one of the top three international credit ratings agencies, has affirmed the City of Tacoma's $63.8 million solid waste revenue bonds at AA-, with a rating outlook of stable.
The bonds are secured by net revenues of the City's solid waste utility. Fitch expects finances to remain stable despite recently declining margins, with the recent shift to private landfill use.
The rating is also driven by the fact that the City remains the exclusive provider of collection and disposal service for all of Tacoma's residential and commercial refuse. Despite increased costs and service charges, finances also benefit from rates based primarily on varying container fees and not on volume flow.
Tacoma will also have a more limited operating risk profile with the ongoing closure of its own landfill. The City is in the final stages of shutting down its landfill site, which is expected to be fully closed by the end of 2013.
Tacoma's waste now being delivered under contract to a privately owned landfill located within Pierce County.