Commission reviews trash disposal issues
In the last decade, Carbon government has paid for all garbage collected in the county and transported to the East Carbon Development Corporation landfill via City Sanitation.
The tonnage includes commercial and industrial waste.
At the Jan. 7 commission meeting, Carbon lawmakers discussed whether county government should continue to pay for the storage of business generated refuse.
"About six weeks ago, Kirk Trease of ECDC approached me and asked me why the county pays for all the tonnage that is going into their landfill when so much of it is commercial," reported Bob Pero, county clerk-auditor. "He pointed out that in our agreement with ECDC we are paying for it, but that commercial material is separate and maybe the businesses should be paying for it."
As the commissioners talked about the situation, the county lawmakers discussed several options, including the possibility of separating commercial and residential refuse.
Wade Williams from City Sanitation attended the meeting at Pero's request because the company hauls the refuse to ECDC.
"Basically, we have mixed garbage," explained Wade Williams. "On our routes, trucks pick up both commercial and residential. And it can't be done by whether a place has a dumpster or a garbage can. Some residences actually have dumpsters, while many businesses have cans."
In addition, local residents have a tendency to place household garbage in commercial dumpsters during certain times of the year, particularly during the holidays, according to City Sanitation.
Commissioner Steve Burge asked about the magnitude of the cost to the county and Pero said the expense represented "a lot" of money.
Research indicates that Carbon pays $2.75 per ton for garbage disposal at ECDC.
The amount of refuse varies from month to month, but registers in the vicinity of 1,000 tons.
Former City Sanitation operator Lamond Williams pointed out that the contract with ECDC was negotiated with specific reasons in mind.
"The county did this to help businesses in the area," stated Lamond Williams. "It was done to offset the cost of the businesses having to go to the landfill themselves. I remember it was just hard to find a way to make it all fair and just for everyone. If the commercial were separated and businesses had to pay the (standard) fees, the costs could be enormous for some like the mines and also could hurt some of the small businesses."
Fees charged at the East Carbon landfill for individual commercial disposal are dependent on the contracts customers have negotiated with the company.
The fees at the ECDC landfill vary and, because the prices involve contracts with private businesses, the charges are not available for public disclosure.
However, the per ton garbage disposal fee paid by the county to ECDC is considerably lower than industry averages.
"At the time this was set up, it was decided that everything would go in together," stated Commissioner Mike Milovich. "Separating out the trash would create some real problems."
The commissioners asked the City Sanitation representatives to explain the size and weight of the company's containers, etc.
Wade Willliams said the company provides everything from cans to roll-away dumpsters and the weight depends on what is put in the containers.
The county landfill also came up at the meeting.
"We have the lowest fee in the state," pointed out Commissioner Bill Krompel.
The matter became an issue when the commissioners discussed construction garbage and the demand placed on the county landfill by debris from projects like the recent demolition of buildings at College of Eastern Utah.
"Maybe we need to set some kind of limit on how much one user can generate and place in the landfill," stated Milovich.
"Maybe one of the things we need to do is to start charging for contractors doing construction dumping," noted Burge.
The commission decided to scheduled a work session to address the overall subject of trash disposal in the county.