Summit County establishes new waste disposal district
The special district is meant to improve the county’s waste management practices
The Summit Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to establish a new disposal district in unincorporated Summit County, a move meant to bolster the regulation of solid waste collection and disposal.
While the special district’s establishment will change little initially, it will allow the county to consolidate and integrate all of its solid waste rules and regulations into one regulatory document, and officials said it would allow the county to better meet its goals related to sustainability down the line.
“The development of the district would allow for us to better deliver on some of the goals that were identified as we pursued the 1A ballot measure in relationship to recycling efforts and in relation to attempts to try to reduce and limit the amount of solid waste that was going to the landfill,” Assistant County Manager Bentley Henderson said. “These are all things the district would allow us to do.”
The change will take place only in unincorporated areas of the county. Towns will be excluded from the district along with property valued in excess of $25,000 that is used for manufacturing, mining, railroad or industrial purposes.
Otherwise, the district will have comprehensive authority over the collection and disposal of solid waste in Summit County, including the development of new recycling facilities, volumetric or weight-based waste collection systems and other programs.
A number of potential goals and related policies already have been identified for the district, all aimed at improving the collection of waste in a more environmentally and wildlife friendly way. The district’s first goal is to create a collaborative system that will help other jurisdictions in the county in their waste-reduction efforts, recycling and the development of new diversion programs. The second goal is to remove barriers to intergovernmental and private collaboration countywide to create a more free exchange of ideas with other entities, promote public-private agreements and pursue grant funding for new projects.
Other goals call for educational efforts to increase public awareness of waste management issues and to demonstrate public leadership by implementing better practices within the county’s own waste management programs.
“As has been pointed out, this is going to allow us to better deliver on the goals we have identified to our recycling efforts, our attempts to reduce and limit waste, focusing on diversion goals, SCRAP efforts — all of those things,” Commissioner Josh Blanchard said Tuesday. “… This really provides the framework for us to be thinking about this more efficiently and to implement these processes. It’s going to be better for our community.”
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