Solid Waste workers get a raise to $10/hour

Friday, March 24, 2017
Solid Waste worker Ronnie Harris is among the part-time workers who will get a raise to $10 after recent county commissioners took action.
Jay Langston

The Marshall County Solid Waste Department continues to progress despite, or because of, their two-headed approach to getting the job done.

The department raised the question with the county solid waste committee during the March 15 meeting of how they needed to approach their leadership structure in budget planning for next year.

Dave Hunter, the operations manager, is still serving as interim director of the department with Doug Giles -- hired as the grant administrator and educator for the department -- assisting him with administrative duties.

The committee leaned toward keeping the current arrangement moving forward, citing a similar structure at the Board of Public Utilities.

Commissioner Mike Waggoner suggested moving Giles into more of an office manager position and splitting the operations and administrative duties between the two individuals.

Only Commissioner R.L. Williams dissented.

“I prefer to have a director, someone who can run the whole facility and be responsible for all the activities here,” Williams said.

He raised the question of opening the position back up for applications down the road. The committee interviewed candidates for the position before Christmas, but the leading candidate ultimately turned down the job offer.

Waggoner suggested tabling discussion of a long-term solution to the committee’s next meeting.

Williams also moved to increase the hourly rate of the part-time convenience center attendants up to $10 per hour from the current rate of $8.42.

“It’s my strong feeling they should be paid more for what they do,” said Williams.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Sales of recyclables from the county recycling hub have been higher over the past couple of months, especially after the hub experienced some down time during the installation of new equipment on the sorting line. Giles said that the department had worked hard to clear out their backlog in order to get more accurate inventory numbers moving forward into the new inventory management system.

The proposed fix for a piece of equipment designed to extract plastic bags from the waste stream did not work as planned, so the department is moving to another system. The cost for the original piece of equipment will be refunded to the department by the contractor.

Waste Management updated the committee on an upcoming permit approval process.

Within the next 60 to 90 days, the company expects state approval of a permit, initially requested in 2012, that would expand capacity at the landfill by an additional 70 acres or roughly another 20 years of service life.

Approval was received from the county and regional authorities years ago and is finally forthcoming from the state.

A public hearing will be scheduled as required by the state, but input will be limited to technical issues at the landfill.

Per the county’s contract with Waste Management, the annual contribution to the county’s convenience centers will increase $10,000 to $310,000 and the payment per ton of waste going into Cedar Ridge landfill will go up by four cents to 84 cents per ton.

The amounts are set to increase every five years.

Last year the tipping fees returned roughly $490,000 to the county Solid Waste Department.