Glenwood Springs City Council approves adjusted landfill hours and recycle center fee
Hours of operation at the South Canyon Landfill will change July 19 after the Glenwood Springs City Council voted 5-2 to approve the change to help landfill employees maintain a work-life balance.
Councilor Paula Stepp and Mayor Pro-Tem Charlie Willman voted no.
Beginning July 19, the landfill’s hours of operation will change to 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Currently, recycle center employees are working six days per week to provide coverage at the landfill as well. The new schedule and new landfill employee would allow this person a normal schedule, city documents state.
The South Canyon Landfill and the recycle center in town is currently staffed by 10 employees from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
“With opening and closing hours included in the work week, total weekly hours of operation exceed 59 hours,” city documents state. “To be able to cover this amount of operational hours per week the staff generally puts in at least 63 overtime hours a week to cover the operation hours. This type of schedule is not sustainable and does not allow for sick time or vacation time to be taken by one member of the crew without another member being asked to take up the slack for that duration of time on overtime.”
The City Council also approved a request to add a full-time employee to the recycle center.
The recycle center would be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Public Works Director Matt Langhorst said the change to 8 a.m. as a starting time was a recommendation from landfill haulers.
“Some of the haulers have mentioned to me that they’d appreciate the extra 8 a.m. start throughout the week instead of having to wait until 8:30 a.m.,” Langhorst said.
Langhorst said the change in hours of operation would allow staff more flexibility.
“Over the COVID period of our lives, those overtime hours kind of skyrocketed,” Langhorst said. “So, if we’re missing one person, we’re already working overtime. We do not have what you’d call an extra person or a floater. We just work them more and more and more, instead of helping them with a work-life balance. And that work-life balance is really important to us.”
Willman said that cutting hours on Saturday wasn’t in the best interest of the public.
“What I’m concerned about is we seem to be making concessions to the commercial haulers by working their hours instead of working with the public, who are mostly there on Saturday,” Willman said.
Stepp echoed Willman’s comments, noting that extending Saturday hours of operation would allow the public the time to get their items gathered up and hauled out to the landfill.
“It just takes time,” Stepp said. “You wake up in the morning, you’re moving brush around and trying to find that pickup truck. I just want to give our community a little bit of leeway there.”
Councilor Shelley Kaup said those who can’t get their items hauled out by 2 p.m. on Saturdays have the option of going to the Garfield County Landfill, which is open until 4 p.m.
“You get up early in the morning on a Saturday, if you can to get it done, and get it on out of there,” Kaup said.
Langhorst said other landfills in the area, including Pitkin County Landfill, are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday as well.
“We’re kind of going in line with what the other larger landfills are doing right now. That’s kind of why we picked that, too, to have some consistency. If we do get overwhelming complaints about it, we’ll bring it back to you and have another conversation.”
Freon fee implemented
Glenwood Springs residents will be able to drop off appliances that do not have a Freon Free sticker attached to them at the city’s landfill by paying a $30 fee. City Council approved a resolution during Thursday night’s meeting that establishes the fee.
The city’s metal recycler, Greenzone, has agreed to take appliances containing Freon and add them to its list of bulk Freon removal items in their yard, according to city documents.
“The removal of Freon one appliance at a time for residents is a difficult thing to schedule with an HVAC professional, so the city and Greenzone are providing a way for people to complete the Freon removal properly with a small fee paid to the landfill,” documents state.
“The landfill currently has to turn away any appliance that would normally have a refrigerated gas within its systems and no ‘Freon Free’ sticker. With this new program, we can help ensure that the Freon is being disposed of correctly.”
The Glenwood Springs city landfill’s user fees will go into the landfill enterprise fund.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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