OGDEN — Those living in the unincorporated corners of Weber County will be getting a big break on trash service, county leaders say.
For the first time, Weber County government has contracted with private waste haulers to collect trash from homes in unincorporated areas, as many cities do for their residents. The change, affecting some 5,300 households and to go in effect April 1, means garbage fees for most will likely go down.
“It just lowers the price substantially. It’s going to cut the price in half,” said Weber County Commissioner Scott Jenkins, citing anecdotal reports he’s received of the fees some haulers now charge.
As is, those living outside the county’s cities typically contract directly with waste haulers for service. The upshot is a seeming broad range of fees charged, sometimes for no apparent reason. “There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the pricing,” Jenkins said.
Alternatively, by working out deals for trash service directly with haulers, county officials are able to achieve uniformity in costs for customers and what Jenkins says will be sharp price reductions due to economies of scale for haulers. The service, which doesn’t include recycling pickup, will be for residential customers only. Commercial customers will still have to work out their own deals with trash haulers, as will residential customers who want recycling service.
County officials mailed notice of the plans to impacted residents on Monday, inviting the public to come to the Weber County Commission meeting on Feb. 25 to offer feedback. The meeting starts at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd. Comments may also be directed to Solid Waste Director John Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-399-8806.
Per the plans, Ogden Valley residents will be served by Waste Management and be charged $52.38 every three months, which works out to $17.46 a month. Those in the Uintah Highlands area will be served by Republic Services and pay $43.17 per quarter, or $14.39 a month. Those in western Weber County will also be served by Republic, paying $45 a quarter, or $15 per month.
The county sought bids for the service and got them for each of the three regions from Waste Management, Republic and Econo Waste. The offers ultimately accepted from Waste Management and Republic represented the best deal for customers, the lowest fees, according to Jenkins. To buy out the contracts Econo Waste had with customers in unincorporated Weber County, he said the county paid the firm around $30,000.
The new county-contracted service will essentially be mandatory and customers will get quarterly bills from their trash hauler. “The idea right now is everyone will be charged for the service,” said Sean Wilkinson, director of the county’s Community and Economic Development Department.
Included in customers’ new bills will be quarterly administration fees of $11.07 that will go to Weber County to help with provision of varied county government services in unincorporated areas. With 5,300 estimated customers getting the new trash service, the fee would generate an estimated $235,000 per year for the county.
State law allows counties to contract for such service for residents, as cities frequently do for their residents, according to Wilkinson. Summit County government officials contract with haulers there to handle residential trash pickup, he said.