SolidWaste11.11

Renting a rolloff trash container from the county could soon cost more under a proposed new ordinance.

Trousdale County’s Solid Waste Committee opted to move forward on increasing rental costs for rolloff trash containers and holding homeowners responsible for the cost of replacing county-owned trash cans.

During their Nov. 4 meeting, committee members voted to recommend to the full County Commission that rolloff rental fees be increased. Currently those costs are $150 per month with a two-ton minimum at $37 per ton. The increase, if approved, would move that to $325 for two weeks and $45 per ton.

Increasing rolloff fees was among the recommendations from a Solid Waste audit conducted earlier this year. Holding homeowners responsible for the cost of replacing county-owned trash cans was also among the proposals in that audit.

“We’re picking up these cans, hauling them off, picking up and delivering, paying tipping fees, basically for free,” Public Works Director Cliff Sallee told the committee. “It’s costing me more to operate… I’d like to raise that so we’ll make a little bit on hauling the garbage; we’re upside down on these every time.”

With regards to making homeowners pay to replace trash cans, County Mayor Stephen Chambers noted that a 2013 resolution calls for doing just that but it had not been enforced. Committee members voted to recommend that the County Commission put that language into an ordinance, which would have the force of law.

Chambers also said the county’s Title 17 code, which deals with trash disposal, had not been updated since Trousdale County went metropolitan in 2001. The last time trash pickup fees were increased was in 2017.

“Mr. Sallee and I are going to work with the county attorney and try to make some suggested changes to modern language and standards,” Chambers said.

The mayor also requested approval to engage the same company that did the audit to put together a request for proposal (RFP) on contracting out trash services rather than having the county continue to provide them. Those costs could be compared to the county’s current expenditures, allowing commissioners to make an informed decision.

Chambers noted that the Solid Waste Department ran a $53,000 deficit in the 2020-21 fiscal year and that the department has run ongoing deficits for some time.

“It’s been a deficit that has continued for several years,” the mayor noted.

But commissioners voted to defer moving ahead on the RFP until their next meeting, which will likely be in January, to give them more time to examine the issue.

Committee members also voted to authorize the Solid Waste Department to sell eight surplus vehicles on a government auction site, or for scrap in some cases. The County Commission will have to give its approval before that happens.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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