Trash sticker prices likely to increase to around $3

Craven County commissioners approved a new trash collection contract with Republic Services on Monday.

It is a five-year contract, according to Rusty Cotton, director of the solid waste and recycling department. It also has a five-year renewal provision.

The county will pay the company $2.81 per trash sticker turned in under the county’s collection sticker program, beginning July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

The commissioners debated earlier this year about going to a roll-out cart system, but decided during a work session to remain with the stickers, which are designated per bag.

In February, the commissioners opened the bids for the collection of trash from residential and commercial sites in the unincorporated areas of the county and certain incorporated areas, using the collection sticker program.

The cost of the stickers — currently $2.25 — will increase to cover the costs of the new collection fee.

Of the current $2.25 for a sticker, 10 cents goes to the vendors who sell them, with $1.89 going to the trash pickup contractors. The remainder goes toward maintenance of the convenience stations, which cost the county about $700,000 annually.

The board will decide on a cost increase for the stickers during its upcoming budget talks.

County Manager Jack Veit indicated to the board Monday that he would recommend the county subsidizing the cost increase to users during the first year.

The price is expected to increase to about $3. A $2.50 sticker fee was decreased by 25 cents after 2012.

Currently, the county provides contract roadside trash pickup each week for any refuse cans that are marked with stickers for each bag of garbage.

Anyone can also purchase stickers, available at outlets such as grocery and convenience stores, bag their household garbage and drop it off at any number of convenience stations around the county.

Earlier, Commissioner Steve Tyson said that having a cart system without costs per bag might hinder recycling.

The county has recycling pickup, with containers provided. The service is paid separately from trash pickup and added to residents’ tax bills.

Recycling is also available at convenience stations for free, along with disposal of yard materials and other items including construction debris.

County officials have said that the trash business is not a money-maker for the county.

Charlie Hall can be reached at 252-635-5667 or 252-259-7585, or Follow him on Twitter @CharlieHallNBSJ.