County hikes fees at waste disposal sites

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 04:36 PM

Union County is proposing a new rate structure and method of payment at the county’s six solid waste convenience sites that will require customers to pre-purchase specially marked bags for solid waste disposal at the convenience sites. Under the new rate structure, customer disposal rates will increase from 25 cents to $1 for 13 gallons bags and 75 cents to $2 for 30 gallon bags.

The county currently operates the six convenience sites on the pay-as-you-throw system. Citizens who dispose of garbage bags at the convenience sites are charged based on the number of bags they dispose of at a site. Recycling is collected free at the sites.

“With this current rate structure, the program continues to operate at a loss,” said Union County Public Works Solid Waste Division Manager Bobby Banks. “To make this program self-sufficient, it will be necessary to increase the per-bag fee to $1 for 13 gallons bags and $2 for 30 gallon bags.”

In order to implement the new rate structure and payment program, Union County will partner with Waste Zero, Inc. to implement and administer the production, distribution and sales of the garbage bags in Union County. Waste Zero is a leading provider of trash metering programs and will produce, distribute and manage inventory and logistics for an official county garbage bag program. Customized residential garbage bags will be distributed to retail outlets, such as grocery and convenience stores, throughout the county for customers to purchase. These garbage bags will be the only disposal bags accepted at the county’s solid waste convenience sites. Accepting only official bags will eliminate cash payments at the convenience sites. The operational and disposal costs are incorporated into the purchase price of the bag.

The Union County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the proposed new rate structure and method of payment at their May 6 meeting.

The program is slated to begin on July 1, 2013; however, there will be a 3-month transition period when the convenience sites will continue to accept customers’ own bags for the new proposed fees. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, only the official county garbage bags will be accepted.