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CACHE GARBAGE-COLLECTION FEES TO GO UP

The Cache County Council has adopted higher garbage collection rates to help the county comply with new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Residential fees will increase by $1 a month to $5.75, while the rate for commercial customers goes up $1 to $2.95 per cubic yard.Roger Stephens, director of the Logan Solid Waste Department, which administers the countywide program, said the fee hikes are necessary because of the EPA rules. The regulations will require the city and county to install monitoring wells near the county landfill.

The increase will not pay for the county to move into a fully automated garbage collection program.

"Logan's Municipal Council will make a decision on that soon and also decide whether an additional fee would be necessary. Because the program will save a considerable amount of money over the long run, the city may decide to pay for new trucks with a revenue bond, then pay off the bond with the money saved," he said.

Nancy Fox, vice president of the Cache Recycling Coalition, said her group objects to the new rate schedule because it does not address methods of waste reduction and encourage community recycling.

Stephens said the new wells at the landfill will be used to test groundwater to determine if any wastes, including hazardous substances, are leaching into adjacent land or the underground aquifer.

However, he said used oil, pesticide containers and other hazardous materials are still being dumped there, despite efforts to prevent it.

Stephens said people often call to ask how to dispose of spray cans and containers from such substances as lye and paint thinner.

"I have to tell them they can be taken to a hazardous-waste site near Wendover, but it costs about $500 a barrel and that is too expensive for most people," he said.