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BFI hit with allegations

Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff

Another Summit County resident has come forward claiming he watched the county’s trash hauler, Allied Waste Services, formerly BFI, dump many loads of separated recyclable material in with garbage collected on Pheasant Way. "I never had any faith that my recycling was ever getting recycled," five-year Spring Creek resident Bill Shephard told The Park Record. "I watched them do a whole street like that." He claims he contacted Summit County Public Works last year after a BFI driver dumped his and his neighbors’ recycling in with their garbage. "I told them I had just observed BFI dumping recycling cans in with the regular trash I didn’t want to talk to BFI," Shephard said, adding that county officials responded by giving his name and number to the company. "They just turned my name and number over to BFI and I thought that was pretty bad." BFI was recently caught taking a container of recyclable cardboard from a Kimball Junction business to the Three Mile Canyon landfill near Rockport Reservoir. Meanwhile, a Wasatch County woman blamed the company for allegedly trashing recyclables in a separate incident last week. "Basically, I thought it was something that the drivers were doing," Shephard said about a BFI truck traveling the length of Pheasant Way dumping separated recyclables in the trash. "I saw them do that for a whole street." Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan says calls from residents concerned about BFI are often referred to the company. "The complaints that I have heard, second-hand through staff, is that residents have alleged they have seen BFI dump recycling material into the trash truck," Callahan said Monday. "Give me documentation of that and we can take action."

Shephard complained that the woman from BFI was rude when she called him and denied the incident had occurred in Spring Creek. "I’m not surprised that he had, not the best reception," Callahan said. "Some of the folks at BFI are not particularly customer sensitive." Because BFI uses similar trucks to collect recycling in Spring Creek as to dump trash, Shephard suspects that recyclables are often disposed of at the landfill. "It always amazed me that they could come by with a truck with no different markings on it," he said. "You’d think they’d have their own truck for recycling a trash truck comes and picks up recycling and I can’t believe that they take that to a different place." BFI’s waste-hauling contract with Summit County expires in 2006. The company is supposed to recycle material it collects in designated bins in the Snyderville Basin and portions of Park City at a facility in Salt Lake. Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme and Public Works Superintendent Mark Offret criticized BFI recently for disposing of recyclables and allegedly hauling garbage collected in Wasatch County into Summit County to avoid landfill fees.

Contentious contract negotiations are expected next year as BFI seeks an extension with the county. The company has hired former Summit County Commissioner Shauna Kerr, a past critic of BFI, to lobby the county on its behalf. "If they’re not going to honor the contract then I don’t want to see them get another one," Shephard said.

But the amount of material BFI recycles in 2005 could almost triple since the company’s contract with the county began in 1999, Allied Waste general manager Rick Schultz said. "Our recycling tonnages, when we first started, were around 250 tons per year," Schultz said. "Because of our efforts to improve the recycling program, going to an automated system, we’re projecting to do over 700 tons this year."


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