You may have noticed that the cost of just about everything is going up and, on Thursday, August 4, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners wants to hear what county residents have to say about some proposed increases in trash collection fees for many parts of unincorporated Guilford County.

That evening, the board is scheduled to hold a public hearing to consider whether to grant solid waste haulers’ increases in monthly household collection rates.

Several years ago, Guilford County adopted a “Customer Bill of Rights” for trash collection companies licensed by the county after a large number of complaints about the services.

Greensboro and High Point have their own collection services – but much of the county is served by a handful of private companies.

At a mid-July commissioners’ work session, several collection companies’ representatives spoke to the board about increasing industry costs – especially the cost of gas – and the current need to pass those costs onto customers.

The commissioners decided at the work session they wanted to hear more input from the public and this week, at the board’s first August meeting, county residents can voice their opinions.

For some customers, for instance, collection costs could go from $21.50 to just over $26 a month – or more if the board allows future adjustments for inflation as well as additional charges for potential service enhancements.

When it comes to county government contracts, almost all information submitted is public record, however, in this case, the commissioners will have more information than everyone else: Some records in the discussion are classified by the collectors as “confidential trade secret information,” which is therefore protected from disclosure to the public but will be provided to the commissioners.

The Board of Commissioners isn’t required to hold a public hearing before allowing increases in trash collection rates; however, the requested increases were met with some resistance at the July work session and the commissioners decided that having more input from affected residents would help the board make the decision.