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Bell County garbage pickup rate increase explained

From the The Bell County 109 Board of Directors -

In an effort to answer questions and provide accurate information about the recent announcement, that Bell County residents will incur a garbage service rate increase effective January 1, 2020, we offer the following information. Hopefully, this will help to dispel concerns and rumors that the residents may have.

First of all, by statue, garbage service is mandatory for all residents. The Bell County 109 Board is charged with the collection and disposal of all residential and commercial waste in Bell County.

The 109 Board is made of up of a group of volunteers appointed by the fiscal court who work diligently to oversee the 109 Board operations. This is a non-paid position; these members donated their time and energy for the improvement and well-being of the county.

To address the current increase of $2.50 per month, note that there has not been an increase for the past 7 years. During this time the tipping fees at the landfill have increased annually along with the cost of doing business (equipment cost, labor, fuel, insurance, etc.). For the last seven years those cost have not been passed along to the customer.

So that you might better understand the volume of garbage that is generated in Bell County. We have disposed of 18,796 tons in the first eleven months of 2019, at a cost of $701,666.24 averaging to $37.13 per ton. This is just the cost of disposal and does not include the operation of the 109 facility, which in addition to handling all of the garbage sent to the landfill but must also pay for buildings, equipment in addition to operating the recycle center in an attempt to remove as much as we can in recyclables from going to the landfill. We would like you also to know we operate with a minimum work force usually not more than 5 employees.

Also, as a free service to all customers we do what we call whitegoods service where we come to your property pick up couches, refrigerators, etc. Just in comparison our neighboring county rates are $17.00 in Knox Co. $19.00 in Harlan Co. both Laurel and Whitley Co. are $19.95. Therefore, we feel that our residents are still receiving good service at a reasonable price.

We would ask everyone to help us to continue the improve and clean up Bell County. We live in a beautiful scenic area that has tremendous potential like many Eastern Ky counties we are in desperate need of jobs in order to attract companies that could provide employment it is everyone’s responsibility to help to maintain an environment that is not only scenic but would be more conducive as a future home for companies seeking a place to develop and grow.

Any questions you have please direct them to the 109 Office at 606-337-7035.

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