Glenwood to stop eyeballing trash, start weighing it
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” When City Councilwoman Kris Chadwick visits the South Canyon Landfill near Glenwood Springs, employees eye up the load of trash and charge her about $12.
“Right now, it is very much kind of a guess,” agreed Councilman Dave Merritt.
But that “volume-based” system will soon change to more precise, weight-based system that makes use of a vehicle scale.
The Glenwood Springs City Council voted unanimously Thursday to implement a weight-based fee structure at the South Canyon Landfill. Trash will be weighed by calculating the difference in a vehicle’s weight when it enters and leaves the landfill.
The weight-based fees will be more precise, fair and easier to understand, said Robin Milyard, the city’s Public Works director, in a memo to the council.
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“It addresses the ‘stomp’ issue of trash being compacted in containers before being transported to the landfill, in essence increasing the volume of trash delivered, but paying for a lower volume,” he said in the memo.
Milyard said a scale was installed as early as 2001 but it was unworkable. Access to that scale required a road that was cut into a hillside, but a seep of dirty landfill water, or “leachate,” plagued the road. A second pond was built to address the seep and the scale was eventually relocated.
Implementing the weight-based fee system will also provide the city with better data regarding how much and what kinds of trash actually goes into the ground.
“I think this is a significant and important step in terms of looking at issues of efficiency and recycling and environmental impacts,” said Councilman Dave Sturges.
The rate for regular residential waste will be 1.8 cents per pound. The new system will go into effect Jan. 1.
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