Dare County Board of Commissioners opted not to change the winter trash
schedule for unincorporated Dare County, which includes Hatteras
Island, at their December 4 meeting.
The idea of a reduced trash pick-up schedule was
proposed at the November 20 meeting as a possible way to save extra
funds. The revised trash schedule would have changed the number of
pick-ups for Hatteras Island from two to one per week for the months of
November through March.
However, a detailed study presented by County
Manager Bobby Outten revealed that the savings were not significant
enough to make the change.
“At the last meeting, you asked us to come up
with some data and information to see if this was feasible, and to see
how it would work,” said Outten, referencing an 11 page packet of
spreadsheets that was sent to the Commissioners on the previous Friday
Researched over the course of two weeks, the
study found that reducing the trash schedule from two trips to one trip
weekly would save a total of roughly 31 trips for all of unincorporated
“The methodology we used to do this is [that] we
went through and figured out how many times we have to drive from the
trash collection route to the dump and back each week under the current
two-day-a-week schedule,” said Outten. “Then we took in the number of
tons we deliver each week and put that on the sheet as well.”
Based on the 31 trips saved, Outten and his team
determined that the schedule adjustment would save $381 in gas, and
$4,711 in wear and tear to the trucks, for a total savings of
“You have to tell us if that is a significant enough number to make the change or not,” he said.
The commissioners determined that it wasn’t.
“Obviously, you have done some extensive research
and that was the whole principal behind this [proposition] coming out
of our workshop,” said County Commissioner Chairman Bob Woodard. “We
would be remiss if we didn’t go through this exercise as a board on a
periodic basis. It’s been a number of years since we’ve done this and
looked into this, and we have a due diligence to our constituents to
see if there’s an opportunity to save any costs.”
“As far as I’m concerned, cutting back the
existing program doesn’t in my eyes generate enough savings to
implement a reduction,” said Woodard.
The other commissioners unanimously agreed to keep the trash schedule the same, based on the data.
“We asked for the numbers, and we got the
numbers,” said Hatteras Island Commissioner Danny Couch. “I’m confident
in the effort that went into this, and it answered my questions as
well. I agree with the commissioner [chairman.]”
No vote was required to keep the schedule the
same, although the commissioners did note that the idea of a winter
change should be kept on the radar in case any other variables, like a
county-wide recycling program, arose in the future.