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Guilford, Pleasant Garden residents will soon see an increase in their trash bill

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GREENSBORO — People in the unincorporated areas of Guilford County and Pleasant Garden will soon see an increase in their trash bill.

After a public hearing in which no one spoke against the increase, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved allowing three contractors to raise their rates to a maximum of $25.50 per month with no consumer price index increase allowed. The figure was less than what two of the three contractors had sought for weekly garbage collection and twice monthly recyclables pickup.

The vote was 8-0. Commissioner Carly Cooke was absent.

Republic Services covers about 85% of the unincorporated areas, while GFL Environmental and Randolph County Garbage Service cover 14% and 1%, respectively, in Guilford County.

Republic Services had sought 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 sought a 16.2% increase from $18.50 to $21.50.

The companies cited increased costs for labor, diesel fuel, plastic carts, truck parts and waste disposal as reasons for the increase.

The license agreements would be good through July 2025, though they can be amended annually if needed.

Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy said she didn’t want to approve a rate with a consumer price index adjustment because “it is worth the dialogue and the discussion that comes from inviting people back each year if you so wish to seek an increase.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to continue to balance the needs of our citizens and what we’re hearing from our constituents with the services that you all are providing.”

In Thursday night’s motion, commissioners also limited the charge for backdoor pickup to current rates: $3 each for Republic and GFL Environmental, and $7 for Randolph County.

Norma Yanez of GFL Environmental said Thursday night that the companies have not had an increase since July 2019, noting that operating expenses have risen since then.

It was the same sentiment echoed by Shane Walker of Republic Services, who said that the county’s rate has not kept pace with the company’s actual costs.

“What’s unique about this is we’ve had two increases since 2008,” he said. “We’ve been kind of stuck in the mud for many, many years.”

Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 336-373-7082.

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