North Ogden halts in-house garbage-collection, renews deal with trash hauler | Government
NORTH OGDEN – After a brief period in the garbage handling business – eight business days to be precise – North Ogden has returned to the company that did the garbage collection.
To save money, the city decided to start internal garbage collection from July 1, the start of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. With that, the company ended its contract with Republic Services with the aim of avoiding the company having an estimated $ 125,000 rise in the cost of the service in the new year.
However, days after the new ruling, it emerged that the city was unable to cope with the tasks, partly due to an apparent surge in litter in both city households and households across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It obviously didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” said Jon Call, the city’s attorney.
Accordingly, North Ogden City Council on Tuesday agreed to renew its contract with Republic Services, and the company actually resumed garbage collection last Monday. Returning to Republic Services will cost the city a little more, although Call didn’t have an exact number, but residents at least won’t see a surge in garbage collection fees, which come to $ 12.39 per month. The city should also be able to cover the additional costs with reserves and other means.
“We thought we knew everything we needed. We missed a few things and then the market changed a little so we couldn’t foresee it, or at least so that we didn’t even think to ask questions. It’s up to me, ”said Call, who had spoken out in favor of the change.
The city stopped processing recyclables prior to July 1 due to rising costs for the service and this will continue under the new one-year contract with Republic Services. Customers can still fill the blue trash cans where recyclable materials were stored and they will continue to be picked up, according to Call. However, the aluminum, paper, plastic and other materials it contains are sent to the landfill, not a recycling processing center.
“They’ll still go to the landfill,” he said, likely until recycling costs drop or the city council decides on a change.
The city rented three garbage trucks to handle the garbage collection for around $ 160,000. But the city should be able to recoup those costs by selling the vehicles, says Call.
The city leaders quickly took the news. Mayor S. Neal Berube said the problem is not with the city crews who take care of the garbage collection.
“Our team gave everything they had,” he said. Rather, “the big surprise” was the unexpected increase in household waste.
Councilor Charlotte Ekstrom has learned about it, taking note of the research that went into the effort. “That’s how we learn things, right? We’ll try, ”she said.
In some of the first days of the garbage haulage, Call said the city had crews working 16-hour days because of the above-expected garbage load. The city had expected it to take 10 hours a day to transport garbage.
According to Call, representatives of the industry have increased domestic waste nationwide by around 30%, also because more people are working from home and throwing office waste in their household bins due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, more people are eating take-out and creating more trash at home.
Call expects that after the annual contract with Republic Services expires, the city will seek offers for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021.