Summit County Ponders Garbage Issues

Feb 13, 2020

Credit Summit County

Summit County officials are looking at two trash-related problems, in different areas of the county.     County Manager Tom Fisher talked about burning going on in Brown’s Canyon; and the problems of garbage pickups in Silver Creek.   

Fisher said that in Brown’s Canyon, there are property owners that have county approval to operate quarries, carry out composting, store construction equipment, and other activities.

But he said that at least one owner is burning material, without a Conditional Use Permit to do so.        

”The regulations around burning are really covered by the state, and the Department of Environmental Quality.  And they have not been as active a regulating those things as we believe they should.    So we’re working with the state on that.  (Leslie) But we don’t know what they’re—Is it garbage?  (Fisher)  It probably is a mixture of things.  It could be wood products, it could be yard waste, that type of stuff.”

He said the issue is primarily the impact on air quality.      

“There are ways that they could come into compliance.  From our perspective, we want them to be in compliance with our code, and right now they’re not.  These property owners, at the same time, if they want to do other things with their property in the future, they first have to come into compliance with what they’re currently allowed to do before we’ll process that.”

On another item, County Public Works Director Derrick Radke recently reported to the Council that Republic Services’ trash trucks sometimes have problems servicing areas of Silver Creek in the winter.    Fisher said that’s not new, and some parts of Summit Park and upper Pinebrook present similar challenges when the snows fly.        

“Closely follows snow events, and the way that roads are plowed, and how quickly they can be plowed in regards to those snow events, and when those pick-up days are.   The Silver Creek area, as we know—roads aren’t all paved.  And they’re maintained a different way.  You can’t salt unpaved roads, or they don’t react well to salt.  So it’s just different conditions.   And the trucks that Republic use, they chain up, they’re four-wheel drive.  But even in those cases, sometimes when those snow events hit on the wrong day, they have a difficult time getting everywhere.”

Fisher said the problem relates to about 25 properties in Silver Creek.   Customarily, if a trash truck cannot get to an address, they try to come by the following day.

We asked him if a neighborhood dumpster could address the problem.       

“That solution has been talked about.  The Service Area and some of the residents haven’t desired to have that kind of service.  I’m sure home service is preferable to having dumpsters or maybe the visual of having dumpsters sometimes is not the right way to do it.”

County Manager Tom Fisher, who said this is one topic they will re-examine, as the county ponders whether to re-contract for trash service, or carry out the job themselves.