Solid waste goes into bags with or without sticky tags

HUDSON—The Columbia County Solid Waste Department got permission from the county Board of Supervisors November 9 to reinstate selling 7-gallon garbage bags at a price of $1 per bag for use at county transfer stations. The 7-gallon bags will not require a tag.

For larger amounts of trash, residents will still have to buy bags from a store and a tag for each bag from the county. The tags cost $3 for bags carrying up to 30 gallons and $5 for bags that carry 33 to 55 gallons, according to the county Solid Waste website.

According to the board resolution approving this development, the solid waste division was seeking “permission to reinstate the use of seven gallon waste bags.” The solid waste office sought this permission because, “We were asked to come up with an alternative to help” people who would have been burdened by having to pay the county at least $3 per tag no matter how small the bag in addition to the cost of buying the bag, Deputy Director of Solid Waste Wendy Madsen explained on November 23.

People who regularly drop their household trash at transfer stations include those who live in towns that do not have regular garbage pickups and do not have their own private garbage hauler.

The latest policy combines features of previous policies. From 1990 until 2021, the county sold five sizes of garbage bags for use at the transfer station.

Then in mid-2021, because of changes attributed to the Covid crisis, the county changed its household waste program. Under the new program, all transfer station users had to buy both their own garbage bags from commercial sources and tags for the bags from the county. Tags for bags under 10 gallons cost $1, those up to 30 gallons cost $3, and those larger cost $5. However, some people began taking bags to the transfer stations without tags or with a tag that would not pay for the bag size. This was costing the county money. Some supervisors expressed concern that solid waste disposal would require increasing taxes.

Accordingly, on October 12, the supervisors gave the Solid Waste Department permission to eliminate the $1 tag. No matter how small the bag was, someone would have to buy for it a tag that costs at least $3. Still, some supervisors expressed concern about the extra cost burden on people who regularly create less than 10 gallons of trash per week. Many are senior citizens who live alone.

So the Solid Waste Department came up with a hybrid of the two previous programs: buy 7-gallon bags from the county, buy larger bags from stores; buy tags from the county for the larger bags. The county Board of Supervisors gave the Solid Waste Department permission at its November 9 meeting. As far as Ms. Madsen sees it, this program is starting “on a trial basis” immediately.

For more information on county Solid Waste, go to

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