Lawmakers Talk Trash In St. Lawrence County

Lawmakers Talk Trash In St. Lawrence County

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Is there a cheaper way of hauling garbage?

Some county St. Lawrence County legislators want to know if tipping fees at transfer stations could be lowered by having a private hauler take solid waste to the landfill.

“The goal is to not pay more for something than we absolutely have to. We're supposed to be good stewards with the taxpayers' money,” said Legislator Joseph Lightfoot.

Hauling from transfer stations is done by county employees in county trucks.

A legislative committee voted 8 to 6 Monday to ask private companies if they can do it.

Those opposing the move say they need more information on what it costs now. And they fear it could actually increase tipping fees in the long term.

“Yes we can contract out, but the minute we do that you lose control of quality. You lose control of cost containment,” said Legislator John Burke.

Trash hauling is a vital service. It's something every citizen and business needs. So legislators are giving this issue careful thought.

“Nobody says were going to do it. Nothing says that we have to do it. We're looking at it,” said Lightfoot.

Opponents point out it would be hard to go back into the hauling business once trucks and other equipment is sold off.

No one is suggesting the transfer stations themselves be privatized – yet. The county legislature is expected to vote on putting out a request for proposals in December.

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