City council approves green waste fee hike

LOGAN – The members of the Logan City Council have approved an adjustment of solid waste collection and disposal fees for residents that will fund green waste services on a year-round basis.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, the council members gave a green light to an increase in city residents’ trash fees of $.50 per month.

The increase was recommended by City Environmental Director Issa Hamud to fund the operation of a compost facility for green waste products on a year-round basis.

The city fee hike was the final piece of a countywide green waste plan recommended by the members of the Cache County Solid Waste Advisory Board, most of who are mayors of local communities.

Under that new plan, city employees will service green waste drop sites in communities throughout the county for a fee of $.50 per month for all Cache residents outside of Logan. County residents will also be charged $.50 per month for the composting facility, making their total fee hike $1 per month.

The fee hike for Logan residents will only be $.50 per month because the city does not operate a green waste drop site.

The city council members invited public comment on the fee hike during their meeting. Receiving none, they unanimously approved the revised fee schedule to take effect in January.

Until recently, green waste (leaves, tree branches and other organic material) was collected from drop sites in 15 valley communities, excluding Logan, only during the months of April and October.

The collected green waste materials are rendered into either compost or mulch and sold to county residents.

In addition to providing county residents with a convenient disposal service for yard debris, Hamud said the objective of the new countywide Green Waste Program is to reduce the amount of organic material going into the Logan landfill, where green waste takes up valuable space and produces environmentally harmful methane gas.

The environmental director also advised the members of the city council that his department now planned to hire two new employees to address a persistent problem with blowing litter at the North Valley Landfill in Clarkston.

The North Valley Landfill has been a point of friction between Logan and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality for months. DEQ officials estimate that winter and spring storms blew up to six tons of plastic, paper, cardboard and other waste from the landfill over the border into Idaho, especially impacting farmers and residents of the town of Weston.

After sophisticated mitigation efforts met with limited success, Hamud had proposed hiring “a spotter whose primary responsibility is to spot any litter blowing and to maintain the (landfill’s) litter fences.”

After reviewing the litter problem in recent weeks, however, Hamud now believes that additional manpower will be necessary to resolve that issue.

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