Changes to Cochise County’s annual Free Dump Days will provide residents with more flexibility when it comes to offloading their trash.
The growing popularity of the program has led to concerns about public and staff safety due to a high volume of traffic at the Solid Waste stations, with as many as 500 vehicles passing through in a single day.
Previously, the County designated one day annually to each station when residents could dispose of their waste at no cost.
Site congestion, along with operational burdens caused by large volumes of trash flow, resulting in overtime costs, prompted Solid Waste staff to create a new way of delivering the program, said Solid Waste Director Marty Haverty.
Under the new system, residents will be issued with a certificate, which will allow them to dispose of one load of trash, up to one ton, once per year – One Trip, One Ton, One Time.
“The thought is that the residents choose the day convenient to them, which spreads the use of the free day out and alleviates the congestion,” Haverty explained. “The voucher system will become an individual homeowner event, as opposed to a community event.”
The new system will also allow Solid Waste to more accurately track incoming volumes of trash and to assign related costs more effectively and efficiently.
The postcard sized certificates will be mailed in April to all County property owners through the County Treasurer’s office, which has volunteered to cover the costs of printing and postage.
Certificates will be valid from May 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, and will be transferrable to a tenant or neighbor. Each certificate will be good for one non-commercial passenger vehicle, truck, or trailer load of refuse weighing a maximum of one ton. Any customer load over one ton will be charged for the additional weight at the current tipping rate fee.
The holder of the certificate must surrender it to the Fee Attendant at the time of the transaction.
The pilot program was presented to the Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting on March 27, and was positively received.
“I think this is the fair way to do it,” said Chairman Ann English. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Supervisor Pat Call added, “I believe we’re the only County in the state doing this. We are here to help people, and the innovation and imagination from folks at Solid Waste is very impressive. It’s a good program and I’m really excited about this.”
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the certificate program, following a recommendation from the Solid Waste Department’s Rate Review and Advisory Board. Supervisor Peggy Judd was excused from the meeting.
For a list of station locations and hours call (520) 803-3770 or visit https://www.cochise.az.gov/solid-waste/home
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