Millard County Landfill Issues

Landfills2First of all, I want to commend the county personnel responsible for the physical management and operation of the county landfills and associated transfer stations here in Millard County. The landfills and transfer stations seem to be well-managed and operated, and I for one really appreciate what they do, and the solid waste disposal options available here in Millard County. Unfortunately, that is the good news.  The bad news, as it turns out, is that the county has been financially mismanaging the landfills for years.

 As our evolving society generates more and more garbage, solid waste disposal has come to be considered one of the most basic, essential government services, with landfills typically operated by county governments and special service districts throughout the state of Utah.  But while Millard County has spent years prioritizing and pouring millions of dollars into non-essential services, the county has grossly neglected the financial management of this most basic, essential service, and that mismanagement is now coming back to bite everyone. Unfortunately, most people probably aren’t even aware of the current situation and dilemma.

 Of landfill fees collected, both at the landfills and as part of municipal billing, Millard County was supposed to be setting aside a certain percentage of all collected fees for a variety of purposes, including capital improvements, maintenance, and costs associated with ultimately closing the current landfills, and opening new ones.  But as it turns out, the county has been completely neglecting this fundamental aspect of sound financial management, which is now creating a serious financial pinch, that county residents will have no choice but to bail the county out of — by being forced to pay substantially higher landfill fees.

 This appears to be a serious mess, that should have been completely avoidable, and is a fundamental issue for which our county elected officials, and especially the commissioners, need to held squarely responsible.

 I encourage everyone to get educated about the issue, and get involved in the discussion.

Respectfully,

Todd Macfarlane

First published in the Millard County Chronicle-Progress.