Landfill fees may rise
Chautauqua County is looking to increase some of its fees for the landfill, while an outgoing county department head believes it’s worth considering eliminating private individuals from hauling their own trash.
During a meeting this week of the legislature’s Public Facilities Committee, members will hear about a resolution increasing a number of fees. The breakdown is as follows:
TRANSFER STATION FEES
¯ Construction and demolition — cubic yard — from $55 to $60 per ton;
¯ Construction and demolition — scaled weight — from $55 to $60 per ton;
¯ Municipal solid waste – cubic yard — from $40 to $42 per ton;
¯ Municipal Solid Waste – scaled weight — from $40 to $42 per ton.
¯ Asbestos — friable — from $72 to $80 per ton
¯ Asbestos — Non-friable — from $36.50 to $40 per ton
¯ Construction and demolition – from $36.50 to $40 per ton
¯ Contaminated Soil — from $26 to $28 per ton
¯ Municipal solid waste — from $29.50 to $30 per ton
¯ Refractory and annealing Sand – from $21.50 to $22 per ton
¯ Sludge — industrial — from $37 to $38 per ton.
Last month, Brad Bentley, who at the time was the county’s Public Facilities Director, spoke about the increases costs for the landfill during the Audit and Control Committee meeting. He said the increases reflect higher fuel, wages and maintenance costs. “The landfill provides a great service to the county at a very inexpensive price,” he said.
There was no proposed increase to individual bag price.
Bentley, who was attending his final Audit and Control Committee meeting before resigning, did admit there had been discussion about increasing bag fees. “It comes up every year but it’s a very difficult decision to do that,” he said, due to concerns that more people may litter as a result.
He noted that Chautauqua County is unique on how many residents handle their own waste, instead of having contractors. “I’d like to see the county move to a different model. I’ve lived around the country. I’ve lived in different cities, towns, counties, villages. Most of the counties where I’ve lived, they’ve always had a collection service like Jamestown BPU does,” he said.
Bentley noted that for those who don’t use a collection service, they must haul their trash themselves. “There’s some inefficiencies to that. Everybody drives their car. Just to drop off a 13 gallon bag of garbage for a buck, it costs them $5 in gas. There’s a line. there’s a wait, there’s pollution,” he said.
Bentley believes there’s an opportunity to do things differently, but that will take a lot of discussion. “There’s pride in going in and saying ‘I only spent $1 to throw a bag of garbage away,'” he said.
He noted that he spends $40 a month for a private contractor to haul away his trash and take the recycling. “I’m paying $10 a week. If you think of a 50 gallon bag of garbage for a family of four, that $5 plus $5 in gas,” he said.
Some contractors may charge even less. “You can put a competitive bid out there and see what you get,” he said.
At this point, Bentley recognized that making a change like that would be monumental and would take a long time to investigate. He said he was bringing it up now for the county legislators to think about for the future.