AT YOUR CONVENIENCE: Commissioners to open centers for year-round waste disposal

Parker County Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden walks past a collection of dumpsters at one of the county’s new convenience centers. The sites will be for year round waste disposal and replace the annual county clean-up day.

Due to the lengthy and costly efforts that follow the annual Parker County Clean-Up Day, the commissioners are set to open “convenience centers” that will allow for year-round waste disposal.

“In last year’s budget we discussed that rather than having the cleanup day, we’re going to have what we’re calling a convenience center where people can take their solid waste — households only,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden said. “Basically we’re going to have five roll-off dumpsters out there where people can pay a small fee and dump their stuff there year-round, five days a week, including Saturday.”

Walden added that the convenience centers will be replacing the county clean-up day.

In August of 2020, the commissioners court suggested adding the two permanent collection centers to the current budget year — Walden said the cost of county clean-up can reach more than $200,000 for one day.

One center will be at the former county poor farm at 2833 Tin Top Road in Weatherford for residents of precincts 3 and 4. The other will be at 3000 Veal Station Road in Springtown for residents in precincts 1 and 2.

The convenience center for precincts 3 and 4 is scheduled to open within the next 30 days. The Springtown facility is being constructed and not expected to be completed for at least another month.

“Everybody loves the county clean-up day, except us because we lose two to three months of working on roads because of that,” Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley said. “We have to prepare beforehand and then it takes two months afterward to clean it all up. Wise County and Hood County both have these types of facilities and they work really well, so we’ve been visiting those and we’re going to mimic them on how they’re built. We can then take stuff all year instead of one day out of the year.”

As for the fee, Walden said it will be exponentially cheaper than taking items to the landfill.

“We’re going to be using money that was budgeted for county clean-up to pay for the employees there and the cost of getting the dumpsters in and out, but it’s going to far exceed that so to try to recoup a little bit of it, we’re going to attach a small fee to being able to take stuff there,” he said. “People will say, ‘Gosh, it was free before,’ and that’s money that’s coming out of our road and bridge fund and we’ve got a small amount budgeted for that one day.

“This is going to be open five days a week, 52 weeks a year, and we’re having to pay some additional employees to be there.”

The current plan, Walden said, is to be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The facility will only accept credit or debit cards, no cash or checks.

Although they are still tweaking things, Walden expects they will be accepting the same type of items they do during the annual clean-up day, which means no household trash or construction materials, only items that would be too large for a normal trash service, such as couches or mattresses.

Because household garbage won’t be accepted, there will be no smell associated with the centers.

“We will be accepting tires and there will be rules with tires,” Walden said. “We’ll have a cost for tires, we’re going to have a small cost we think for brush too, but you will be able to bring brush there all year round.”

Once the facilities are up and running, more details can be found on the Parker County website at www.parkercountytx.com

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