Dumping money

Sunday landfill operations may get cut because of a lack of revenue

Because of a lack of use, a proposal was made last March to close the Moffat County Landfill on Sundays. But instead of closing it, the Moffat County commissioners decided instead to keep the landfill open for five hours on Sunday instead of 10 on a trial basis.

Through January of this year, since last April, the landfill has turned a profit on only five of those days.

The net loss in keeping the landfill open on Sundays has been $5,149 since April, according to figures released last week by Landfill Manager Eric Johnson.

With an average of about 30 visitors a day, minimal Sunday use has county officials reconsidering the need to keep the landfill open on Sundays.

"It doesn't justify staying open for the cost," Johnson said.

Johnson said if the landfill were to be closed on Sundays, that business would likely shift to Saturdays.

Right now, the landfill is open all day on Saturdays, but those hours might also be reconsidered, in order to cut overhead and dead time, Johnson said.

Cutting Saturday hours from 10 to five might also be discussed, Johnson said.

At a commissioner meeting last week, Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele suggested just keeping the landfill open on Sunday's in the summer, during the busier season.

But Johnson said even though visits are more frequent during the summer, the landfill is still operating in the red on Sundays.

If a decision were made to cut out Sundays, that would mean the landfill would likely go from four full-time employees to three full-time employees.

Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton said he thought the numbers spoke for themselves.

"Twenty some cars a day is about four cars an hour," he said. "You wouldn't run a business this way. We've looked at it and studied it and it's time to make a decision."

Another part of the effort to operate the landfill as an enterprise fund was discussed two weeks ago at a Moffat County commissioner meeting.

In that meeting, the commissioners discussed with Johnson raising landfill rates for residents from $16 to $20 a ton.

They also discussed raising minimum fees for residents from $2.50 to $5.

Fees for non-residents might increase from $37 a ton to $45 a ton, with a minimum fee increase from $5 to $10.

A decision on operation hours and fees likely will be made at the Moffat County commissioners Feb. 11 meeting.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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