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Effective July 1, 2017, the San Juan County Landfill on Crouch Mesa, operated by Waste Management Corporation, began charging county residents for disposal of their household waste. In recent years the county has subsidized waste disposal for county residents, estimated at about $800,000 in 2016. According to San Juan County Public Works Administrator, Fran Fillerup, the new fee structure, put in place for budgetary reasons, will bolster the general fund by about $600-650,000, with some subsidization required to operate the various county transfer stations. There are thirteen transfer stations throughout the county, staffed by county employees. The county pays Waste Management Corporation 'tipping fees' by weight when waste is delivered to the landfill. “People should consider recycling when they can,” Fillerup said, but that wasn't a consideration for the County when adopting the new landfill fees. “Using transfer stations is a better option for many people because you pay one dollar per bag, up to five bags, or six dollars per pickup truck load. The new landfill fee is a minimum of $5.20 for up to one hundred pounds of household waste. The landfill is, of course, intended for larger loads of trash, but there is a recycling bin for everything but glass. Transfer stations offer single stream recycling all in one container. The acceptable list includes: magazines, junk mail, office paper, phone books, brown paper bags, newspapers, plastics 1-7, flattened cardboard, aluminum cans, foil pie tins, paperboard, steel cans and empty aerosol cans. Everything must be clean. Mr. Fillerup stated that the transfer stations are accepting appliances, which have been serviced to remove refrigerant, at no charge.

This practice, he said, has helped to diminish the decades-old problem of dumping such items, and all types of trash, on public lands. But if people see illegal dumping, they're encouraged to call the non-emergency number 505-334-6622 and report it. “We hope people take pride in their community,” Fillerup asserted.

The Waste Management facility on Murray Drive has single stream and glass recycling. Recycling takes extra effort, but now there's added incentive, beyond environmental awareness, for county residents to do so. More recycling means fewer bags to haul and be charged for at the landfill.


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