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Down in the dumps: Guilford residents may soon have to pay more for trash collection

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Garbage collection fees may go in some areas of Guilford County.

GREENSBORO — If you live in the unincorporated area of Guilford County or Pleasant Garden, you may soon pay more to get your garbage and recyclables picked up.

The three companies Guilford County contracts with to provide these services — Republic Services, GFL Environmental Services (formerly Waste Industries) and Randolph County Garbage Service — are all seeking a rate increase.

The license agreements would be through July 2025.

The fee increases for weekly garbage collection and twice monthly recyclables pickup are as follows:

  • Republic Services is proposing an increase from $21.50 to $26.56 — a rise of 23.5%.
  • GFL Environmental offered two possible increases from its current rate of $21.50: An increase of $26.05 — a 21.2% bump — along with an annual “urban consumer price index adjustment” beginning next July; or $27.35 without the consumer price index adjustment — a 27.2% increase.
  • Randolph County Garbage Service wants to go from $18.50 to $21.50 — a 16.2% increase.

At a work session earlier this month, Environmental Services Program Manager Clyde Harding told Guilford County commissioners the companies cited increased costs for labor, diesel fuel, plastic carts, truck parts and waste disposal as reasons behind the increase.

Republic Services provides service to about 85% of the unincorporated areas, while GFL Environmental and Randolph County cover 14% and 1% respectively in Guilford County, Harding said.

He said the complaints he receives about service range from company representatives not being reachable to missed pickups to contents blowing out of collection trucks.

The last rate increase was $5 more per month in 2019 for Republic and GFL Environmental, Harding said.

During a July 14 work session, commissioners grilled representatives of GFL Environmental and Republic Services about the rate increase.

“Those are your customers. They’re our constituents,” said Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston, adding that he wanted to hold a public hearing about the rate increase.

Norma Yanez of GFL Environmental told commissioners that the company’s costs have “gone up tremendously.”

“We’ve had to provide bonuses. We’ve had to adjust rates. We’ve had to pay extra bonuses on Saturdays for them to come in on weekends,” said Yanez, noting that labor costs have increased by 41% from 2019 for a residential truck driver.

Joe Salamone of Republic Services told commissioners the company has hired a customer service manager, an extra dispatcher and an extra supervisor to service mostly Guilford County. The company also bought six new trucks since 2019, he said.

“That’s over a $1.75 million investment,” Salamone said. “Without our customers, we don’t survive. ... But our costs continue to go up.”

GFL Environmental and Randolph County Garbage did not respond to emails seeking comment on their rate requests by early Thursday evening.

However, Republic Services said: “Many industries are facing challenges with increased operating expenses at this time, and the recycling and waste disposal industry is no different. In an effort to sustain the current service levels, the necessity for a price adjustment is resolute and critical to our ability to continue serving the residents of the county.”

Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 336-373-7082.

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