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The City Journals

Residents to pay more for curbside green waste collection, trailer rental

Feb 18, 2021 01:35PM ● By Cassie Goff

The Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District has raised a few residential fees. (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

The Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District (WFWRD) has increased a handful of fees for 2021, as the governing board approved their new budget on Dec. 16, 2020. The increased fees apply to the residential green waste and bulk waste trailers services. Additional nonresidential fee increases include recycling front load containers for special services and district pricing. 

WFWRD’s base fee will remain $17 per month/$204 annual. This base fee covers services for one garbage can and one recycle can with additional occasional services like Christmas tree cleanup in January. 

Curbside green waste collection fees are increasing from $9.50 per month/$114 annual to $10.50 per month/$125 annual. This will be the first fee increase for the WFWRD curbside green waste collection service since it was implemented in 2014. 

“It’s very important that service pays for itself, and cover its own cost for wage increases and container repair and replacement,” said WFWRD General Manager/CEO Pam Roberts.

Fees associated with the trailer program are increasing for residents. The bulk waste trailer rental increased from $145 to $175. In addition, fees for loads over two tons will be $45 per ton. 

Modifications had to be made throughout WFWRD from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulk trailer rental program was modified the most as a result. 

Usually, the trailer program staffs 21 drivers. In 2020, they were short-handed by five employees at the beginning of the year as they started with 16 drivers.

“It’s a competitive industry for drivers, with companies like Amazon,” Roberts said. “There’s a nationwide shortage of CDL drivers. We work with people to get their CDL in a hope that they stay.” 

 In addition, they were constantly short-staffed as employees who were exposed to COVID-19 or sick had to be taken off their routes.

“We had to pull full-time people from curbside pickup to staff the trailer program,” Roberts reported. 

WFWRD’s trailer program became online reservation only. Concern for the health and well-being of their employees modified the delivery policy as well. Trailers began to be delivered onto resident driveways, instead of on the streets.

“It’s an attraction when containers are on the streets, like ants to a sugar pile. With such a large-scale program it’s difficult to protect the sanitization workers,” Roberts said. 

WFWRD collects waste from 83,000 homes within the cities of Cottonwood Heights, Herriman, Holladay, Millcreek, Taylorsville, portions of Murray and Sandy; the Metro Townships of Copperton, Emigration, Kearns, Magna and White City; and unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County. 

Of those 83,000 homes, 10,790 are within Cottonwood Heights. One thousand three hundred and three bulk waste trailers were delivered to Cottonwood Heights where residents discarded 379 mattresses, 41 tires and 24 fridges. 

Altogether in 2020, 9,548 containers were delivered to gather 8,481 total tons of waste. In comparison to 2019, 11,470 containers gathered 11,000 tons of waste. 

During 2020, between 80 and 100 containers were reserved per day. The drivers were eventually able to average 10 container deliveries per day. 

“The team became more efficient for this program,” Roberts said. 

For 2021, WFWRD will continue with the online reservation-only model for their trailer program. They hope to tweak the program and fix some loose ends in order to keep the program modifications moving forward. The biggest focus is to make their online reservation system quicker. 

“We have to verify that the person who is scheduling the reservation is the homeowner,” Roberts said. 

After the trailer program wrapped up, WFWRD asked residents to partake in a survey. Two hundred and twenty-five of those who responded left detailed comments. Thirty-two of those said they were not in support of the modification to the program because they wanted more availability. Some responders asked for this program to be available year round.

“We are looking at that, but there would be cost increases. It’s better for costs to keep it in municipalities within certain dates,” Roberts explained. 

For more information, visit their website at: www.wasatchfrontwaste.org