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County manager reviews new trash contract on Summit County Council agenda

Tom Fisher

The Summit County Council, meeting in regular session Wednesday, is scheduled to consider a new five-year garbage contract.

The  staff is recommending that the county sign up again with its current hauler, Republic Services.

The council is meeting electronically.    But their in-person location is at a special site this week—in Kamas, at the South Summit Services Building at 110 North Main.

At about 4:30, the council will consider authorizing the staff to enter negotiations with Republic for a new contract, running from the current expiration date, July of 2022, to July of 2027.

County Manager Tom Fisher said that of three candidates, Republic submitted the lowest bid.   But the cost of the trash contract is going up, from the current $2.8 million to probably about $3.4 million.

The three applications were reviewed by a committee including Fisher, Public Works Director Derrick Radke, Sustainability Director Emily Quinton, Park City Sustainability Director Luke Cartin and Kamas Mayor Matt McCormick.

Fisher said there were two factors that put Republic over the top.      

“Price is always a factor, and Republic Services had the lowest proposed price.   But familiarty and the extent of their service area locally really are what won the day , along with a proposal to help the county build a transfers facility for recyclables and perhaps green waste.”

He said a recycling transfer station will bring a couple of benefits.      

“First, you bring all your recycling to it locally.  So it would be a local facility that all of our recyclables would come to instead of individual collection trucks traveling down to Salt Lake City.  We’d collect that all in one space , and then it could be sorted so that we could take care of some of the contamination issues that plague our recycling program.  So those could be sorted out, and we could consolidate those recyclables into the commodities that are the most valuable and haul those out in bulk as opposed to one collection truck at a time.”

Fisher said the new contract will still offer trash pickup once a week, and curbside recycling every two weeks.

He said all the contenders were asked to consider expanding recycling to take in glass, green waste or food waste.   

“We have options to bring that forth in the future.  I think we’re gonna work with Park City and watch what they do in some pilot programs on that before we opt in.   But if we get enough interest through the contractor to do these things, they can start those services as well.   (Leslie) Would it mean a third can if we were to do the green waste pickup?  (Fisher) I think, yes.   It may not be a can, but some type of collection method will have to be provided from a curbside perspective if we go with any of those opt-in services.”

Fisher said he couldn’t say if the county’s residential trash fee will increase.    But that will continue to be an item for discussion.      

“We brought forth that fee for the reason of eventually getting solid waste collections to pay for itself.    It’s not close to that at this point, even at the level that it’s at right now.  So that’s gonna be an ongoing conversation within the community about how we pay for our overall solid waste program in the future.”

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher.

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.
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