Hyde County looks for ways to reduce garbage costs

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, August 25, 2007

By Staff
Pay-as-you-throw system is proposed by member of panel
The solid-waste committee appointed by the Hyde County Board of Commissioners is searching for ways to reduce the cost of disposing of the county’s garbage.
The committee’s members gathered at two locations to conduct business, some members in the Information Highway classroom at Ocracoke School and the other members in the Information Highway classroom at Mattamuskeet School.
Al Scarborough, a committee member from Ocracoke, believes that a pay-as-you-throw system would work well on the barrier island. A pay-as-you-throw system allows homes and businesses to pay the county to pick up and dispose of the garbage only they generate. Special bags or tags could be purchased to identify those using the system. The cost for the tags or bags would reflect the county’s costs to dispose of the garbage.
Scarborough believes the larger businesses generating most of the garbage should pay their fair shares for solid-waste service. Scarborough urged the county to implement any new system during the winter months, not during the height of the tourist season.
Interim County Manager Carl Classen raised the possibility of first implementing such a program in the county’s most-populated areas.
The cost of curbside pick-up on the mainland is expensive, according to county officials. After the pick-up fees are paid, the cost of disposing a ton of garbage on the mainland escalates to $175 per ton. If house-to-house service is eliminated, solid-waste collection sites would be set up throughout the county.
The cost of hauling a ton of garbage from the Ponzer roll-off site is $119, according to the county. The price escalates to $415 per ton on Ocracoke Island. The difference in the two costs is the cost of transporting the garbage from the island to the mainland, according to the county.
During the fiscal year that ended June 30, there were 2,121 tons of solid waste from Ocracoke, with 2,840 tons of solid waste collected on the mainland. The cost of collecting a ton of solid waste on the mainland was $205.55 per ton. The cost of collecting a ton of waste on Ocracoke was $245.07. In addition to those charges, tipping fees were paid to leave garbage at landfills. A tipping fee of $61.60 per ton was paid for trash taken to the transfer station in Manteo. The tipping fee for trash taken to the Beaufort County transfer station was $43.75 per ton.
Hyde, Beaufort, Washington and Tyrrell counties received a grant to help dispose of agricultural-related solid waste.
Commissioner Tom Davis is chairman of the committee. Commissioner Barry Swindell is vice chairman of the committee. Anyone who has any suggestions for reducing the cost of the county’s solid-waste program can contact either of the commissioners or call the county manager at (252) 926-4179.