Editor’s Note: We apologize for the publication delay of this story. While for many this is old news, however with the new budget being formulated, the reason behind the operating hours change earlier this year is important to understand.
Last year at the RC Commissioners’ Meeting on November 7, 2022 Solid Waste Director James Kilgo told the Board that Rutherford County entered into a contract with Republic Services in January 2020 for hauling and disposal of municipal solid waste. However, Republic Services advised that they would amend the contract since their hauler implemented a 26% increase in hauling charges that took place September 1, 2022. Consequently, Republic requested an increase of $4.76 per ton or a 11.22% increase to be effective January 1, 2023.
Ms. Tracy Messer, Senior Municipal Manager of Republic Services, said fuel, overhead, and labor costs are driving the cost in the middle of a budget cycle. It is their intention to try to get a better rate before July, 2023.
The Solid Waste staff worked with Republic Services and compromised amending the contract to reflect a $2.38 per ton increase on January 1, 2023. Since that increase was not covered in the current Solid Waste Budget and must be made up somewhere in the budget, Kilgore recommended that the hours of operation at convenience centers be reduced beginning the first Wednesday in January.
The reduction in labor costs due to less hours would cover the first $2.38 requested by Republic Services for the rest of the fiscal year. Yet changes in fee structures would have to be considered in the 2023-2024 budget in order to cover the balance.
Hours were changed at the county-operated Convenience Centers in January 2023. These are the sites where citizens who do not live in a municipality with garbage collection, may take their household waste and recyclables. The hours at all centers except Hollis were reduced 18 hours per week.
According to county officials and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, some are not utilizing the new hours, and are illegally dumping their trash when they encounter the locked gates of the convenience centers. Residents should note:
“Leaving trash anywhere, other than a receptacle specifically designed for trash, is at a minimum a Class 3 misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of no less than $250.”
Currently for all Convenience Centers, except for Hollis, hours of operation are:
Convenience Center Hours:
MON., TUES., THUR., FRI. 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
SAT 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
**CLOSED: Wednesday & Sunday**
Hollis Center Hours:
MON & FRI 7AM – 6PM
SAT 8AM – 6PM
**CLOSED: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday**