Wednesday, July 27, 2011

County Looking to Take Control of Trash Collection Business

The county held the first of 3 meetings tonight at Ogden Elementary to discuss trash. An estimated 150 people were in attendance to voice their opinion to county officials. After a brief presentation by county officials, a steady stream of people stepped up to the microphone to voice their opposition to the countys efforts to take over trash removal services.

The proposed plan divides the unincorporated parts of the county into two parts, the north and the south. Carriers would bid on providing service to each of the two areas. Winning bidders would provide services for garbage, yard debris, recycling and appliances removal.

While county Manager Bruce Shell said, “Decisions have not been made”,  it appears the county is well on its way to taking over the garbage collection business.

For nearly an hour and a half, one after another, people spoke in opposition to the countys proposal. Commissioner Thompson said on more than one occasion that the people at the meeting did not represent the rest of the county. He also pointed to what he saw as the city’s success in the garbage collection business as support for the county’s plan.

The county tries to claim it would not be eliminating competition, but that’s simply not true. They would in fact bid out the contract and award it to a single carrier for an extended amount of time. Residential customers would be forced to use the company selected by the county or transport their garbage to the dump themselves.

The county’s plan would only apply to residential customers. Businesses would still be free to choose the garbage carrier of their choice.

So whom does the county’s have as a consultant for the project? According County Manager Bruce Shell it’s the same one that advised the county on the failed R3 Environmental deal.

One resident commented officials were coming up with a plan to fix something that wasn’t broke. Another asked to simply be left alone, which lead to a roaring round of applause. The overall sentiment was that residents were happy with their current service and wanted to maintain their ability to choose their service provider.

In the end, this plan by the county represents the most current trend in government. That trend is it to come up with a plan to expand government services, and rather than increase taxes which would create an uproar, they develop a way to send it to tax payers in the form of a bill. Either way, the county seems to be on a mission to expand services in spite of public input. In the end, it will likely result in higher cost for everyone.

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