County leaders set to debate trash fee increase, types of bags u - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

County leaders set to debate trash fee increase, types of bags used

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Union County commissioners are scheduled to take up a proposal that would increase the fee to drop off trash, and also eliminate the choice of trash bags customers use.

"I don't want to be told what to use" says resident Ken Guhse. "The biggest problem with the new proposal is I don't think it's the government's role to come in and tell me what kind of trash bag I'll use."

Union County's Solid Waste Division is looking at having customers who drop off trash at the six convenience sites pre purchase specially marked bags.

"Basically we're trying to eliminate cash transactions at our convenience sights says Bobby Banks, the Manager of the Solid Waste Division. "Right now people bring bags and appropriate change and they actually deposit – a transaction there."

One part of the proposal calls for a fee increase.

The county says "customer disposal rates will increase from 25 cents to $1 for 13 gallons bags and 75 cents to $2 for 30 gallon bags."

The manager of the Solid Waste Division says the price increase is needed because "currently fees we're collecting are not paying for the service. We're trying to break even."

Banks says solid waste is an enterprise fund off the fees it collects. He says no tax revenue dollars go to solid waste.

Some residents say the price hike is too steep, and could lead to people dumping trash along the side of the road.

But Banks says residents would "pre-purchase the bags up front. All costs would be included so when they get to the convenience sites - no cash with them.
The county says between 16% and 18% of residents use the convenience sites.

While some lament the proposed price change, others are balking at both the fee hike, and lack of choice.

Banks acknowledges "taking away choice of what type of bag you're purchasing but we're improving accountability and safety and maintaining equitable system."

Ken Guhse says "no doubt the bag is a fine bag but it doesn't mean it's the style I want. And I just don't think Government belongs in my trash can."
The County would team up with a company that makes the trash bags.

Banks says residents would be able to purchase the bags at grocery stores and retail outlets.

County Commissioners are scheduled to take up the matter Monday evening.

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