More Trash From Beaufort County
One of the biggest open secrets in Beaufort County is that County Residents are going to have their trash picked up house to house at no additional cost. This sounds like a supper good idea. How do you get companies to work for you for free? City residents pay extra for this service.
We have a Solid Waste (trash) Committee of commissioners. The three members are: Frankie Waters, Stan Deatherage and John Rebholz. The committee was formed because we need to make improvements in our trash collection roll off sites.
The committee had discussions with Republic Services, also known as GDS Waste Services. They have the contract to operate the convenience/dump sites and haul trash from Beaufort County to the landfill in Bertie County. This is all the household waste collected in Beaufort County. This includes the municipalities: Washington, Washington Park, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity and Aurora. All the household waste in the County ends up at the transfer station on Flanders Filters Road where it is compacted and hauled to Bertie County to a land fill. Less a very small amount of recycled material that goes to Greenville.
The Solid Waste Committee had discussions with GDS about improving our neighborhood collection sites. They came up with the idea that GDS could buy five or six automated garbage trucks, garbage cans, shut down almost all of the neighborhood collection sites, collect the trash house to house and haul it to Bertie County for the same price we are now paying.
Tandy Dunn has run the numbers on this and you should read his article below.
Right away, I see a problem. In Beaufort County, residents are hauling the waste to a central location (the roll offs) for GDS to pick up and haul away. So, how can one buy several expensive garbage trucks and all those garbage cans and drive house to house for the same price we a now paying. Every penny of the three million dollars we collect from the residents' "solid waste fee" goes to haul waste to Bertie County.
Here is almost the answer. Shutting down all the roll offs but two saves GDS the expense of about 12 employees. GDS will have to hire about 7 or 8 employees to drive the garbage collection trucks. GDS will have to pay the drives more money. Lets say the cost of labor is a breakeven or maybe saves a little money. It does not save enough to pay for the new trucks and trash cans. The cost has to go up.
A further proof of increased costs is that people in the municipalities pay their household fee of $165 per year to Beaufort County just like people in the County do. And in addition they pay a fee to the municipalities to pick up their trash and take it to the transfer station on Flanders Filters Road. Based on this information, city residents could be paying part of the cost for County residents!
The County plans to pick up trash from every house in the County (not the municipalities). There are at least three private companies that now pick up trash in the County. These
companies are privately owned and have employees. The County plans would put them out of business. What about their hard work, investment and where will their employees work?
Another problem. The County will have a single provider for all trash services. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to change trash companies. For one thing, who does what GDS does? Who could give us a competitive price? Prices could go up and up and up.
We are a large low-population county. We have a trash system that now works at a low cost. If you want trash pick-up now, a private company can do that for you. Why create a monopoly and destroy more capitalism? Beaufort County can, in no way control any trash monopoly. We will be at the mercy of a single provider.
In order to make this monopoly work Beaufort County will have to pass an ordinance directing that all citizens must use and pay for the county trash monopoly. Have you ever seen the government do anything well. If you wanted or needed private service you would still have to pay the County fees and then pay a private provider.
There are huge red flags all over this deal. Every bad idea I have seen during the past 24 years has been hatched in the back room. Same with this one.
A vote was not taken to run the North Caroling General Statute required advertisement saying the county was considering going to a trash collection monopoly. The Solid Waste Committee is advisory and they never advised the Board of Commissioners, by a vote, to run the advertisement. The Commissioners never voted to run the advertisement. Only commissioners who have spoken against trash collection have spoken out. That leaves five commissioners sitting there looking like "Cheshire Cats". So, why did the advertisement run? You can believe this advertisement was not run without someone knowing there were at least four votes to pass mandated trash pick-up.
I see Beaufort County sailing into another disaster, similar to the loss o of the Beaufort County Hospital, the closing of the Belhaven Hospital, the construction of a by-pass on the west side of Washington, the building of a new jail, the construction of a half full school buildings, etc., etc., etc.
Looks to me like the three RINO (Republican In Name Only) commissioners have joined the two Democrats to cram something else down our throats.
On the first day of bill filling, House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) filed legislation (HB 6) to provide $215 million for the construction of a new Brody School of Medicine facility at East Carolina University.
While an annual report from a financial watchdog shows most U.S. cities are poorly prepared to face the fiscal fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the three North Carolina cities examined showed stronger numbers.