Gering residents and tree service companies will have a new option in the future for the disposal of debris from trees and shrubs, however there will be a small price tag attached to the disposal.
Monday night, the Gering City Council approved a resolution to switch to a fee-based disposal option, with prices ranging from $4.00 per pickup or small trailer-load up to $50.00 for a full semi truckload.
City Engineer Annie Folck explained staff had identified a location behind the baler building at the Gering landfill that would meet environmental requirements, as well as the need to meet the anticipated increase in such waste in future years. “We have an aging tree canopy in the city of Gering, and the problem is only going to grow exponentially over the next few years. We do have a good location for it, and have written a grant to NDEE,” said Folck. “We’re hoping that will help cover some costs for a shredder that we can have to operate our own, but the plan if that grant doesn’t come through would be to contract with someone to come in and shred it. Either way, there’s going to be a cost to the city.”
Folck said the fee would help with meeting requirements for managing runoff and other related environmental issues, and would encourage responsible disposal at a reasonable rate. “When we were taking it for free, we were getting a lot of debris from commercial tree removal services and everything else, (and) it quickly became apparent that that’s not a sustainable way to move forward.”
City Council members expressed a desire to waive the fees when needed following significant storm event, and were told they could do so in the future with another simple resolution. City ordinances still allow residents to placed properly cut tree limbs of up to 4″ in diameter in their regular waste disposal picked up by city sanitation.