Do you drop trash off at transfer stations? Here are some changes you should know about

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A sign informs visitors to the Upper Fruitland Transfer Station about what materials are allowed to be left.

AZTEC — Changes are coming to the various solid waste transfer stations in San Juan County.

The San Juan County Commission approved three changes during an Aug. 27 meeting in Aztec.

The transfer stations were initially funded through a gross receipts tax, however that revenue has decreased over the years. That prompted the county to begin charging people who use the transfer stations in 2011.

The county provides more than $500,000 from its general fund to subsidize the operations at the transfer stations. The three approved changes are intended to reduce that subsidy.

Here’s a look at the three changes and how they could affect people who use these transfer stations.

Reduced days of operation

The County Commission approved closing the transfer stations on President’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. This will save the county more than $11,000. That will also mean fewer days for people to take trash and recycling to the transfer stations.

Fees for out-of-state, out-of-county residents

Previously, the transfer stations were not supposed to accept trash from out-of-state and out-of-county residents.

"This has always been a policy since 2005," said Public Works Director Nick Porell.

He said the policy has not always been strictly enforced. Porell said turning those residents away presents a challenge to people who live in rural areas of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and Utah who don't have a lot of options to dispose of trash.

This is now changing, however people who do not live in San Juan County will be charged more to drop off trash at the transfer stations.

The Upper Fruitland Transfer Station is one of three stations located on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County.

The minimum charge for out-of-state and out-of-county residents will be $9. Half a truck load would cost $18 and a full load of three cubic yards would be $27. Out-of-state and out-of-county residents will be charged $5 per tire, and the county will not accept refrigerators or other appliances.

The Navajo Nation pays the county the full cost of operations at the three transfer stations located on tribal lands.

Increased rates for medium, large loads

San Juan County will continue to charge $1 per bag for the first two bags of trash delivered, however rates will be increasing for medium and large loads. Loads larger than two bags and up to half a load will be charged $5. It will cost $9 for full pickup loads. Residents can dispose of tires for $2 per tire and there is no fee for residents to drop off refrigerators.

The previous fees were $1 per bag for up to five bags and $6 for the entire load if it had more than five bags. The previous fee structure was $1 per tire.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at

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