BFI is busted, citizen claims
Suspicions are growing in Summit County about how often Allied Waste Services formerly BFI — dumps recyclable material in area landfills. A photograph circulated recently of a BFI truck picking up cardboard at Kimball Junction. "I was actually shocked & I thought that they quit doing it," said Heber resident Valerie Huggard, a frequent critic of BFI, whose husband and stepson are former employees of the company. BFI officials admit the material shown in the picture was unloaded at the dump instead of Rocky Mountain Recycling in Salt Lake. But they claim it was an isolated incident. BFI general manager Rick Schultz said he wasn’t comfortable allowing the truck in the photograph to be driven over Parleys Summit. "They are the second largest garbage company in the world, now why can’t their equipment make it up over Parleys?" Huggard countered. "There are a lot of roads in Park City that are worst than Parleys Summit. I don’t understand, it can stay in Park City but it can’t go up over Parleys?" Her husband Earl, who worked for BFI for four years, claims the company often authorized drivers to dump recyclables in the landfill and construction waste collected in Wasatch County in Summit County. "It happened the whole time [Earl] drove there. The whole time he drove there this was just an on-going, hush-hush thing," Valerie Huggard said. "If somebody can provide me with documented evidence that BFI is mixing recyclables into waste then we will take action against BFI," Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan said. "I have no problem with taking action against BFI if they are in fact doing that. But I need documentation." Huggard has prepared handwritten questionnaires signed by eight current and former BFI employees stating that they have watched as the company’s trucks have dumped recyclables near Rockport Reservoir, in the county’s Three Mile Canyon landfill. Huggard collected the documents last year after her stepson Josh was killed while hauling waste for BFI. She admits her dislike for the company claiming her family was mistreated by BFI after her son’s death. He was killed while driving down White Pine Canyon Road after picking up a load of garbage in The Colony in 2004. Huggard also accuses BFI drivers of dumping Wasatch County residents’ construction waste, which is supposed to be disposed of in Duchesne County, in Summit County’s landfill. "I hear the allegations," Callahan said. "You provide me with the evidence and I’ll take action." In October 2004, Huggard claims she followed a BFI truck loaded with garbage from a construction site near Charleston. She filmed the truck after officials at the Wasatch County landfill refused the load and videotaped it as the vehicle dumped the garbage in Summit County, she added. "That’s a big deal," Callahan said, adding that because the company’s contract with Summit County does not require tipping fees, BFI could avoid landfill fees by dumping material collected in Wasatch County in Henefer. "If BFI is at fault, I will hold them accountable."
BFI does not contract with Wasatch County for waste services, but Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme has repeatedly accused the company of dumping garbage it collects from construction sites in Wasatch, in Summit County free of charge. "Nobody pays for that," Earl Huggard said. "You can’t take garbage from one county and put it in another." The company is due to begin re-negotiating its service contract with Summit County in 2006.
But Woolstenhulme said a rift is developing between him and Schultz, who reportedly blasted Public Works Superintendent Mark Offret after Offret outed BFI for recently trashing the recyclables. "[Schultz] jumped on Mark & over the pictures, told Mark that I’d stabbed him in the back," Woolstenhulme said. "I don’t want anybody accusing me of that kind of B.S." BFI’s Schultz wasn’t prepared Tuesday to comment on Huggard’s allegations. "We don’t want to get into a lot of detail. We just don’t want to be negative," Schultz said Tuesday. "I need to look at those allegations and what she has."
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