RODMAN The price to dump trash at the regional landfill in Rodman is already scheduled to rise in 2013, and now it could get even more expensive for municipalities and taxpayers if a plan is approved Thursday by the Development Authority of the North County board of directors.
Effective in January, a $5-per-ton increase in the tipping fee for regular trash was approved by the authority in March for municipalities and trash haulers with contracts from $39 to $44 and walk-in customers, who pay $41 to $46. Now, to help pay for landfill operations, the authority is proposing to increase fees for several other categories of trash such as contaminated material.
When it approved its 2012-13 budget in March, the authority did not raise the fees for 10 categories of trash at the landfill that have different charges. The board will consider a proposal Thursday to increase tipping fees for several of these categories by $5 per ton, although some rates would stay the same, said Richard R. LeClerc, solid waste division manager. Any additional rate hikes will also take effect in January.
Mr. LeClerc on Monday would not release information about which rates would be increased under the plan. Special categories include industrial waste, contaminated soil, sewage sludge, non-beneficial and beneficial sludge, along with friable asbestos and asbestos-contaminated material. Special categories also include discounts offered by the landfill for community improvement and residential cleanup projects conducted by municipalities and nonprofits.
The authoritys administration decided fees for some of these categories should be increased to fall in line with the $5 hike approved in March, Mr. LeClerc said.
It makes sense to raise the tipping fee for the other categories, he said, because the rationale is to make sure to address our operational costs at the landfill.
Faced with declining revenue, the landfill is raising its tipping fees for the first time in its 20-year history. The plan will affect residents who are charged by private or municipal trash haulers in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, as well as Hamilton County, which has a contract with the authority through 2018.
Ultimately, any additional rate increases could mean higher costs for residents who have curbside pickup. But just how much will vary, depending on the municipality or hauler.
Even so, Mr. LeClerc said, the amount of trash the landfill collects in special categories is low compared with overall tonnage.
Theres no question that any of the proposed changes in the tipping fees the board will act on will have a smaller potential impact to individual residents in the tri-county area, based on the volume we collect, he said. Individual and private haulers will have to identify how much they increase consumer rates.
The rate changes probably will mean higher costs for manufacturers and industrial businesses, which often transport waste to the landfill directly.
Petroleum-contaminated soils and leaking underground storage tanks are the most common, Mr. LeClerc said. We see gas stations that have suspended their operations and have to replace their storage tanks.
The town of Rodman has a contract with the authority for the regional landfill on its property under which the town is paid about $3 for every ton of trash collected, regardless of the category of trash. Therefore, the new tipping fees wont affect the towns revenue.
Rodman Supervisor Gary R. Stinson said the authority needs the tipping fee increases to offset higher operational expenses.
They havent raised their rates, and I think its about keeping up with the costs of their programs, he said.