Craig City Councils debate introduction of Ordinance No. 1111 regarding solid waste collection fees
Who knew a $5 charge for an additional trash pick-up would be so heavily contested.
But that’s what happened Tuesday night in Craig City Hall, as council members debated language in Ordinance No. 1111, which updates the city’s residential and commercial collection fees.
Road & Bridge and Solid Waste Director Trevor Campbell first introduced the ordinance at the July 14 council meeting.
According to the ordinance, the Solid Waste Department would stop doing additional rear-load pick-ups for residents, turning to automatic-only pick-ups for those wanting extra service. However, Campbell wants to reimplement the $5 charge for additional pick-ups, a fee that was waived due to COVID-19. Additionally, the ordinance updates fees for 2-, 4- and 6-yard roll-off dumpsters.
“What this would allow us to do is cut back on Saturday overtime shifts, giving our staff a break from six days a week,” Campbell told City Council. “Plus, this allows us to keep our staff safe and healthy with them not getting out of the truck to do rear loads.”
The reimplementation of the $5 fee would not lead to the Solid Waste Department breaking even on trash pick-ups, but it would hopefully cause residents who are misusing the current free additional pick-up to think twice about scheduling one if it’s not necessary.
Currently, the Solid Waste Department is picking up an extra 300 cans a week, according to Campbell.
Council member Tony Bohrer said he understands some have misused the free pick-ups, but he doesn’t like the idea of taking away one service and then charging a fee for another service.
“Like I said when this was introduced, I just can’t vote ‘yes’ for this when we’re taking away a service,” Bohrer said. “I can’t see it any other way. We’re taking away a service that’s been here for years and years, and now, we’re going to reimplement a fee too.
“I’m perfectly OK with charging someone for tires, furniture, refrigerators, etc. I have no problem with charging for those,” Bohrer continued. “But an extra fee on a 90-gallon can? I’m not going to vote for that.”
Council member Paul James pointed out that removing the need for the Saturday shift would reduce costs.
“These guys are working very hard,” James said. “Taking away that Saturday shift would allow them to have an actual weekend, and it would save us money.”
Five drivers rotate each weekend to handle the extra pick-up routes, which puts both Solid Waste Department mechanics on call every weekend, as well as foreman Rod Durham.
“We have guys on call every single weekend because of these pick-ups,” Campbell said. “It’d be nice to get them to have a full weekend.”
After more than 20 minutes of debate regarding the $5 fee, council member Chris Nichols made a motion to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 1111. By a vote of 4-3, the motion passed.
Council member Ryan Hess, Bohrer and Mayor Jarrod Ogden voted against the ordinance, and council members Steve Mazzuca, Andrea Camp, James and Nichols all voted “yes.”
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