The Trash Company may open its own Grand County trash transfer station
April 5, 2009
If a transfer station is built west of the current county landfill, such as in Hot Sulphur Springs or Kremmling where the county has proposed, one major hauler may be looking elsewhere.
Since 2006, The Trash Company, owned by parent company Waste Connections Inc., has had a special use permit for a two-acre site in Granby intended for a transfer station. The site is accessed off of Highway 34, its neighbor the existing concrete plant.
“Eighty percent of what we haul is east of the current landfill site,” said Trash Company District Manager Kent Hinsey. “To move the disposal site farther west of that site adds more hauling costs to us.”
Since Granby is located at “the heart of the volume” coming through Grand County, he said, his company would be inclined to pursue its own transfer station plans rather than haul a long distance to the county’s site.
“With every decision that we make, safety is a consideration,” he said. Added distances and time to daily routes can mean rushed trash haulers, compromising safety.
Added distances also translate into higher fuel costs, Hinsey said.
“If we do decide to pursue something in Granby, it’s not a spite thing. It’s not a threat or anything like that. It’s purely a business decision about where our disposal is going to be,” Hinsey said.
The Trash Company was one of three companies that submitted bids to the county last year for operation of a redesigned trash program. Competitor Waste Management ultimately was chosen and is still in contract negotiations with Grand County management.
In initial scoutings for a future transfer station site, the county had rejected The Trash Company’s Granby site for its limited size and its in-town location.
Nevertheless, the offer remains, Hinsey said. “Everything’s still on the table.”
“We won’t discount anything,” said County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran.
Even as the county approaches a hearing on a special use permit for a Kremmling Landfill transfer station, county officials are throwing in other options for commissioners to review and from which to choose, she said.
In addition to the Hot Sulphur Springs property, the county is gathering data on two other potential sites: The Valley Recycling property near Parshall and the Fraser Valley Lumber property at the corner of Highways 40 and 34.
Another option Grand County staff members plan to present to commissioners, Underbrink Curran said, is letting the Granby and Kremmling landfill sites expire, then turning over trash disposal responsibilities to the private sector.
In other words, an option is for the county to exit the trash business altogether.
However, one risk to that, Underbrink Curran said, is large trash hauling companies could come and go at the whim of the industry, whereas the county’s track record of providing solid waste sites to citizens for more than 40 years speaks for itself. For this reason, she said, she doesn’t see The Trash Company’s potential plans derailing any county plans.
Another option would be for the county to expand the Kremmling landfill site.
For the amount of trash presently delivered to the site, it could serve another three years.
If expanded, Underbrink Curran said it could handle countywide trash for the next 10 years.
No matter what county commissioners decide, “regardless of who disposes of trash, the cost is going to go up,” she said. Since construction and development have declined, the county is generating 30 percent less solid waste at 70 tons average per day.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.