January 29, 2020

Weber County mulls new trash deal with Republic, draws ire of Promontory Point

Check out the most recent information on the status of the Promontory Point Landfill by reading Tim Vandenack's article in the Standard Examiner. (FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake continues to oppose a landfill on Promontory Point Peninsula.)

Weber County mulls new trash deal with Republic, draws ire of Promontory Point

OGDEN — Weber County officials will seek a new waste-hauling contract with Republic Services, forgoing a competing proposal from Promontory Point Resources, which operates a new landfill abutting the Great Salt Lake that's been the focus of debate and controversy.

The decision prompted a rebuke from Promontory Point representatives, who question whether the county is following proper legal procedure. They also say their proposal is a better value than the one put forward by Republic, which has long hauled trash collected at the Weber County transfer station in Ogden to a Republic landfill in Tooele County.

"There should be a (request for proposal) process, formal responses, an award and an opportunity for protests so that the county can be assured that its citizens are being served by the responsible/responsive bidder. That’s the law and good policy," Bradley Cahoon, an attorney for Promontory Point parent company Allos Environmental, said in a message to the Standard-Examiner.

Weber County officials, meanwhile, say they are complying with applicable laws and procedures. Sean Wilkinson, director of the county's Community and Economic Development Department, said that while the county has started discussions with Republic, "no formal decisions have been made."

At stake is whether trash collected in Weber County should go to Republic's Tooele County landfill, requiring a trip through Salt Lake City, or the new Promontory Point landfill in Box Elder County, target of criticism from some environmentalists.

The Weber Area Council of Governments Solid Waste Utility Subcommittee, an advisory body made up of elected officials from across the county, made the recommendation last November that the county go with Republic instead of Promontory Point, preceding formal talks. Washington Terrace Mayor Mark Allen, head of the subcommittee, said the unanimous recommendation stemmed from satisfaction with the service Republic has provided over the years.

"It was just experience, history with them... We trusted them. We knew they would be able to transfer that stuff in a timely manner," he said.

Either way, it appears the county will save money. Both companies offered a cut in the current rate Republic charges to haul waste, from $27.78 per ton down 10% to $24.99, though other details in the proposals potentially bear on the precise price paid under each as the years pass. The county-owned transfer station handled nearly 194,000 tons of trash in 2018, and the reduced rate would cut the cost to the county of processing that total from $5.39 million to $4.85 million, at least initially. Click here to continue.