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Summit County Trash Hauler, Republic, Fields Complaints After Schedule Change

Change can be difficult, no matter when or where it happens.    The latest example has occurred with Republic Services, the county’s contracted trash hauler, which said it got complaints about the schedule change that began last week.

Last week, the neighborhoods that Republic serviced on Fridays were switched to Thursday, and conversely, their Thursday stops were flipped to Friday.

Reese DeMille is Republic’s Manager of Municipal Services and Governmental Operations.    He said they talked to the county about the change months ago.

He said it makes sense for their schedule.      

“Our Thursday route was small, and our Friday route was very big.    And that was because it’s the East Side where all the growth is happening.   So we were seeing a 10 percent increase over the last couple of years in the number of homes that were being built on the East Side, and also, just the sprawl of those homes.   They were just further out.    So it was causing us many more hours to pick up that Friday route.  And so that didn’t allow us to make up any misses or issues on Friday before the weekend.   So we wanted to put that bigger route on Thursday, the smaller route on Friday.”       

Among other factors, the Friday schedule as it now stands is closer to their hub in Park City.      

“So if there were any issues that we needed to fix, we could do those on Friday when we were closer to our hub.  And also, we have drivers that pick up residential cans, but they also drive commercial trucks.   And if there is a need for one of them to jump in a commercial truck and get a commercial can in the downtown area on a Friday in preparation for the weekend, they have the hours to do that.”

He said the complaints from residents were mostly because they didn’t know about the change.   DeMille said Republic worked to get the word out.        

“I mean, we took out ads in the Park Record.   This was communicated on social media.    And obviously people, that’s the way it is with everything.    People aren’t going to hear everything and know everything.   We did the very best that we could to communicate it.  Most of the complaints  we got were, “I just didn’t know.”  Once they were told, they said, “Okay, that makes sense”  I would say most people don’t care what day their garbage is picked up, as long as they know when that’s happening.  And we did the best we could to communicate it.”

DeMille said changes in trash service aren’t new.    He said it happened recently to his garbage pick-up in Utah County.

For now, he advised patrons to call Republic.   They’re trying  to get to residents who missed their pick-up day last week.

“It may be where they have to take it, maybe the next week, and they have to take a couple bags out, put it by their dumpster, if they don’t have room.  And the driver will pick up their dumpster and the bags that are with it.”

This comes while Republic also had to make adjustments due to Monday’s snowstorm.   The company tweeted that they were unable to pick up trash for all of Summit Park, couldn’t get the recycling for the top half of Summit Park; and also missed trash service for the upper half of Pinebrook.

The company said they will try again on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Summit County is considering whether to renew Republic’s contract, which is up in 2022, or to take on the service itself.

DeMille said they’’re just waiting to see what the county proposes.    He said they believe they’ve established a good relationship with the county, and they like to be here.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.