County officials and trash collectors disagree over a plan to shutter a local waste transfer station. That’s where garbage trucks go so they don’t have to drive to the landfill. The county thinks the closure could save taxpayers money.
Salt Lake County officials say the Salt Lake Valley Waste Transfer Station is well, wasteful. Rick Graham is over operations in mayor’s office. He says closing the transfer station will save more than $2 million annually.
“There’s a lot of demands for money in the budget,” Graham says. “A lot of challenges and programs that the county has to manage. Next year is going to be quite a challenge. So all the departments looked at ways in which they could develop efficiencies.”
While that might help balance the county budget, Pam Roberts with Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling says the closure will ultimately mean higher costs for residents.
“While I’m hoping that it doesn’t close, if it does it does put us into a bind and would drive up our costs,” Roberts says.
Trash haulers like Wasatch and Salt Lake City would likely need to raise fees to pay for more gas, drivers and trucks. Wasatch alone serves 83,000 homes throughout the valley. And they’re already bracing for a rate increase next year.
In a letter to county staffers earlier this month, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s chief of staff said the city had neither agreed to, nor budgeted for the closure.
In a straw poll, the Salt Lake County Council voted to fund the transfer station for the next six months. They’ll finalize the budget next month.