The solid waste management fee Sedgwick County homeowners pay will stay $5.70 next year, commissioners voted Wednesday.
The solid waste fee covers trash processing, disposal and recycling. The fee also is used for special projects such as the household hazardous waste disposal center, Christmas tree recycling and coupons that allow residents to dispose of bulky waste.
The county generated 396,275 tons of trash last year, down 2.2 percent from 2010. That’s 4.36 pounds of trash per person per day last year, environmental resources director Susan Erlenwein told commissioners.
Recycling totaled 47,220 tons last year, up 1 percent from 2010.
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Construction-related waste that went to a landfill totaled 196,778 tons last year, up 9 percent from 2010. Construction and demolition waste that was recycled totaled 20,919 tons last year, up 55 percent from 2010. Wichita had a grinder for asphalt shingles last year that hadn’t previously been available, Erlenwein said.
The county recycled 5,344 Christmas trees at 20 locations last year, down 17 percent from 2010.
Erlenwein reported that 13 cities in the county — Andale, Bel Aire, Bentley, Cheney, Clearwater, Derby, Eastborough, Kechi, Mount Hope, Park City, Sedgwick, Valley Center and Viola — have franchised trash service and recycling. Seven have not — Colwich, Garden Plain, Goddard, Haysville, Maize, Mulvane and Wichita.
Commissioners Richard Ranzau and Karl Peterjohn noted they did not support limiting residents’ choices for trash pickup. Ranzau said private haulers have proved they can take trash to the landfill without government intervention. Peterjohn called franchising a monopoly.
“I think more choices are better,” Peterjohn said.
Commissioner Dave Unruh said, “we have 13 cities that think it’s a good idea.”
The board voted 3 to 2 to accept the solid waste plan, which advocates franchised trash service, and forward it to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Peterjohn and Ranzau voted against it.