The good news is that we can design the new trash plan after we become a City. Now we must do what the County requires. With a City we have choice. That means the City Council, with input from the community, will design the trash plan we want. Here is what we know for sure.
1) The state adopted a Solid Waste Plan in 2006 requiring municipalities to develop and document solid plans. The goal is to reduce waste deposited in landfills and encourage recycling. There is a reporting requirement as well. We are all aware of Gwinnett County’s draconian response to that requirement.
2) How the service will be implemented will be determined by the City Council once they are elected. They will have to develop a plan for Solid Waste Disposal, hopefully with input from the community.
3) It will take some time to transition from the county plan to the city plan. If the transition occurs prior to when the next payment is due on our property tax bills, there will be a mechanism in place to ensure there is no double billing.
We also know that many people in Peachtree Corners experienced an increase in their bill for trash collection once the county trash plan was implemented. Why did this increase occur? Our cost went up because the county averaged the costs over the entire county pick up area. We live in a densely populated area. The cost for collection in this area is less than in an area where homes are spaced more widely apart, like many other areas in the county. It is simple economics. It takes more gas and time to collect fewer homes in those areas. That being said, it is likely our costs will decrease once we have trash pickup exclusively for this area.
That being said, what are the options for trash pickup? Here are a few.
A local hauler that currently contracts with the county was contacted for a quote. Given our demographics, the quote was $15-$16 per month, including yard waste. For those who choose the solid waste option currently, that could be a savings of $10 per month. For those who do not, the savings would not be as dramatic, but we would have an additional service added for a little less than we pay now.
This price is predicated on continuing billing through the property tax bill. If we were billed directly, the price would be somewhat higher, but that would offer an option for some to provide proof of alternate disposal capabilities and be able to opt out.
While we could open the service to all haulers and allow everyone to contract with the service of their choice, there is an advantage to limiting the service to a single hauler. That reduces traffic in neighborhoods and wear and tear on roads.
Some have mentioned the “infamous” Duluth blue bags. The truth is, you pay for what you use. The bags are either $22.26 for 15 – 15 gallon bags or $33.92 for 20 – 32 gallon bags. All you pay is for the bags. Plus you still have recycling. If a family of 4 uses one 32 gallon bag a week that works out to just $7.35 a month. The smaller bags, perfect for smaller families, even less.
So there are real options on the table. The likelihood is there will be at least some savings. The only remaining question is what will the final plan be?
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