Local trash haulers would for the first time have to pay Douglas County a franchise fee of 5% of the company’s cash receipts under a new agreement considered by the Douglas County Solid Waste Advisory Committee on Wednesday.
Committee members did not take a vote on the new agreement Wednesday. They’re waiting to see the final version, which will include some alterations they suggested at the meeting.
The SWAC had previously recommended a stiff increase in the per bag fee for individuals bringing their trash to the county’s landfill and transfer stations. Those proposed increases have not yet been addressed by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, which will have the final say.
But with increased charges in the offing, it’s thought that more county residents will consider signing up with franchise haulers who travel to the customers to pick up their trash.
The new franchise haulers’ fees are intended to help the county pay for the increased costs associated with managing its Solid Waste Division and eventually closing the landfill. All the money would be used for solid-waste operations.
The agreement discussed Wednesday would allow franchise haulers to request rate increases if their expenses are above 90.1% of their revenues.
Rate increases would be based on a Consumer Price Index that committee member and former county planning director Keith Cubic pointed out isn’t very indicative of rural Douglas County residents’ expenses. Ross Wilson of Wilson Consulting, who helped prepare the agreement, said that index may not be great, but it’s the best one available.
Franchise trash haulers would be mandated to collectively cover all parts of the county so that every square inch of the county falls within one of the haulers’ territory, Wilson said.
“Each hauler needs to agree to that before they sign the agreement,” Wilson said.
Dori John of Roseburg Disposal said the franchise haulers are already good at working out the territories with each other in an equitable way.
The haulers would also be required to serve residences on all county maintained, paved roads.
Some of the haulers said they currently don’t serve customers at long distances from any other customers. Others said they already sign up all comers no matter their distance from other customers, and that they have found additional neighbors of those customers typically sign up after they discover the hauler is serving their area.
The agreement also includes a new rule that the haulers must pick up trash that has fallen to the ground.