Our View: Joining waste district would ultimately lower prices


January 13, 2022

Green River residents pay a lot for solid waste services when compared to Rock Springs residents only 15 miles to the east.

Yes, a portion of property taxes levied in Rock Springs is paid to the Sweetwater County Solid Waste District No. 1, but the bills residents in Green River receive compared to Rock Springs residents’ bills differ greatly. Rock Springs residents even have the choice of solid waste companies to utilize, which isn’t the case in Green River.

With continued discussions about solid waste being conducted by the Green River City Council, we’re encouraging them to join Solid Waste District No. 1 as soon as possible. This would result in residents not being billed out-of-district rates and opens the door for better price parity in services between the county’s two cities and giving Green River say in how the district operates.

Green River’s solid waste issue dates back a few decades, when the city wanted to create a solid waste district of its own, utilizing the now-closed Green River Landfill. The idea was quieted down when the trona industry, not wanting to be included in a property tax district that would increase their costs, opted to provide the city with money to purchase new garbage trucks in return for not pursuing the tax district idea.

Once the city closed its landfill due to pressures from the EPA, its was forced into utilizing the landfill near Rock Springs as an out-of-district customer.

Green River needs to be a part of that district -- it only makes sense because a significant portion of the county’s population finds itself utilizing a landfill that leaves it with no representation in how it operates. Joining the district would give Green River a voice on the waste district’s board. The fact that residents would pay into the district would also open residents to the district’s prices, which would mean the city would be able to negotiate for lower costs with Wyoming Waste Services when their service contract is up for renewal.

Joining the district would be a win for everyone in the city. We hope this will happen soon.


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