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Dumping price will drop to $5 for Davis residents

But critics believe move is a public relations ploy

SHARE Dumping price will drop to $5 for Davis residents

LAYTON — Wasatch Energy Systems, operator of the Davis County burn plant and landfill, soon will reduce its dumping prices for the first time in its nearly 16-year history of escalating prices.

Effective Oct. 1, the fee for residents to dump a pickup load of trash will be reduced from $7 to $5.

The administrative board of the solid waste district voted unanimously to approve the reduction at its July 5 meeting. The board also agreed to eliminate annual spring and fall cleanups, a span of a few weeks a year when residents could also dump their trash for $5 a load.

Despite the fee reduction, several long-time critics of the district weren't satisfied with the change.

Layton City Manager Alex Jensen, who has hoped for a resident fee reduction in recent years, mainly with the $10 monthly household charge, believes the new decrease is a token gesture at best. He's not convinced that with a new weigh-in scale the district will have installed this fall that it won't actually end up costing some residents more because their loads could be weighed.

Still, he was surprised by the fee decrease and said the city staff and council didn't know about it until after it was approved.

Another critic, Mark Graham of Layton, believes the minor move is simply a public relations ploy.

"They're nickel and diming," he said, explaining he's still waiting for the day when the district reduces its overall commercial tipping fee.

The district had been evaluating the $7 fee change for more than a year, according to Wasatch Energy Executive Director LeGrand Bitter. Although he said the new fees weren't factored into the new fiscal year budget that the board approved last month, he doesn't expect it to make any significant effect on revenues for the district in the coming year.

In lieu of the cleanup periods, the board favored the year-round $5 charge. It also plans to give cities special vouchers so that city-sponsored cleanups or charitable organizations can dispose of waste free at the landfill during any time of the year.

"It'll be a much more flexible and balance program," Bitter said.

He said an average of several thousand pickups/cars a month visit the burn plant/landfill to drop off solid waste and they are the users who will soon benefit year-round from the new fee reduction.

Bitter said each city will be in charge of administration and distribution of the vouchers. Each voucher will allow free disposal for one vehicle of waste not to exceed 10 cubic yards per vehicle. He believes this new system will bolster charitable to service-oriented organizations in Davis and Morgan counties because it will allow them to choose the date of a project. Previously, such projects were pretty much tied to spring or fall cleanup periods.

Jensen believes the revised voucher system is a very positive move by the district, and he fully supports that change.

Commercial disposal rates will the remain the same, and the district is also retaining its $10 a month household fee for regular solid waste disposal of residents from the curb.

E-mail: lynn@desnews.com