Green River Star -

Our View: The city needs to privatize

 


Discussion Tuesday night amongst the Green River City Council caused us to realize the future of affordable garbage service in Green River is in privatizing it.

This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to a slick sales pitch, but a realization after looking at a comparison presented during the Tuesday night discussion.

In short, the city stands to save money, up to approximately $1 million a year after five years while receiving more than $100,000 in franchise fees each year.

Residents would be projected to save as well, saving $10 from the projected city rate during the first year. The level of service would remain roughly the same as the figures presented compared the city’s project rates with Wyoming Waste Management’s platinum level of service, not basic trash pickup.

We realize this puts a few jobs at risk. Yes, the city is interested in contracting with a company that can absorb city employees, but regardless of if every employee is promised a job by whichever company takes up the city’s trash collection services or not, the city should move forward with getting itself out of the garbage business.

Those employees’ skills could be utilized in open positions in other departments should jobs with a private waste management company not materialize.

An offer to educate and train those employees would ease fears of completely losing jobs and allow those who want to work at for city a chance to stay.

Another fear is of massive rate hikes after the city does privatize solid waste collection is understandable as well, but easily dealt with when negotiating a contract. The city, with the best interests of its residents at the table, could negotiate a contract with a solid waste provider that ensures residents wouldn’t see massive spikes in their bills year after year. A small gain is understandable, but those small increases are likely easier pills to swallow than the more drastic rates proposed by the city.

This isn’t a light decision to make, as it isn’t something that can can be easily reversed and there’s no kicking this can down the proverbial road.

We believe the writing is on the wall and privatization is the only viable route to ensure residents receive quality and economical service. Should the Council decide to keep the city in the solid waste business, we’ll still receive quality service, but it’s safe to say we’ll all feel the pain of high rates every month.

 

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