On Thursday, April 1, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners got together and talked a lot of trash to each other. 

Specifically, in the afternoon work session in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro, the board heard arguments from two trash collection companies operating in the county that were both asking for rate increases.

The Board of Commissioners must approve any rate hikes for waste collection in unincorporated Guilford County since those franchise contracts are with the county.

On April 1, GFL Environmental and Republic Services both asked for increases on their basic weekly service for trash and recyclables collection as well as for other services.  The companies citied increasing amount of trash from homes due to the pandemic and other factors such as the rising costs of equipment and labor.

GFL Environmental was asking the board to move from $21.50 to $22.50 for once-per-week trash collection and twice-per-month recyclable waste collection.  That’s roughly a 5 percent increases and the company was asking for similar increases on its costlier services as well.

Republic was asking for a similar rate increase and also requesting the contract include an automatic yearly increase based on an industry inflation index.

The commissioners didn’t vote on the two requests but they are expected to do so soon.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston sounded skeptical of the requests.

“The question is, is that fair to the consumers?” Alston said. 

Alston said that Republic didn’t come to the commissioners for a rate increase for ten years, and then, two years ago, came before the board and got an increase.  Alston said that, now, Republic  is coming to the board after two years and is also asking for automatic yearly cost increases.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has asked for some specific figures and other information that will be provided to them.