FIRST CLASS CITIES ‑- GARBAGE, WATER AND SEWERAGE SYSTEMS ‑- LEGALITY OF CONSOLIDATION.
A city of the first class may legally combine its garbage, water and sewerage disposal departments, provided the accounting procedure for each is kept separate.
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June 28, 1954
Honorable Cliff Yelle
Olympia, Washington Cite as: AGO 53-55 No. 279
Attention: Mr. A. E. Hankins, Chief Examiner
By letter of recent date previously acknowledged, you have requested our opinion whether a city of the first class may legally combine its garbage, water and sewage disposal departments, provided the accounting procedure for each is kept separate.
It is our conclusion that this question should be answered in the affirmative.
Washington Constitution, Article XI, section 10, provides in part as follows:
"* * * Any city containing a population of twenty thousand inhabitants, or more, shall be permitted to frame a charter for its own government, consistent with and subject to the Constitution and laws of this state, * * *"
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Washington Constitution, Article XI, section 11, provides:
"Any county, city, town or township may make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws."
RCW 35.67.020 authorizes cities to "conduct and operate systems of sewerage and systems and plants for refuse collection and disposal." The authority conferred by this statute embraces the functions of a garbage department. RCW 35.67.030 provides the means for adoption of a plan for executing the preceding provision.
Chapter 214, § 1, Laws of 1947, authorizes cities to operate water works, systems of sewerage, and systems and plants for garbage and refuse collection and disposal. See RCW 80.40.010 through 80.40.020.
RCW 35.21.120 authorizes cities to provide for garbage collection and disposal. RCW 35.21.210 authorizes cities to provide for sewerage, drainage and water supply. RCW 35.22.280 (14) authorizes cities of the first class to regulate water works. RCW 35.22.310 authorizes cities of the first class to close cesspools and provide for the removal of garbage. RCW 35.22.570 is the omnibus authorization of cities of the first class. RCW 35.67.320 through 35.67.340 provide methods for consolidation of the system of sewerage, including additions, extensions and betterments thereto, with the water system.
InState ex rel. Ennis v. Superior Court, 153 Wash. 139 at 149, 279 Pac. 601, the court said:
"It is evident from the constitution of this state and legislative enactments that, in Washington, cities of the first class are vested with very extensive powers, * * *"
When all of the above statutes are considered together in the light of the decision in theEnnis case, it is clear that cities of the first class are vested with very broad authorization for the creation and operation of sewer and water systems. Although RCW 35.67.320 through 35.67.340 specifically provide for consolidation of water and sewer departments, if is our opinion that the inclusion [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] of a provision for systems and plants for refuse collection and disposal in RCW 35.67.020 is sufficient to imply legislative authorization to combine these three utilities provided the accounting procedure for each is maintained separately. In this connection, seeAyers v. Tacoma, 6 Wn. (2d) 545, to the effect that legislative authority for one procedure to effect a particular result does not necessarily exclude the adoption of other means to that end by a first class city. It must, of course, be understood that the consolidation could not be in derogation of the city's charter.
Very truly yours,
WILLIAM C. HALLIN
Assistant Attorney General