Landfill discount changes

September 13, 2002|by PEPPER BALLARD

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday raised landfill rates for high-volume users including municipalities, local government agencies and commercial solid waste haulers who dump at least 4,000 tons a year at the Forty West Landfill.

The rate for most landfill users is $45 per ton. For those hauling more than 4,000 tons, the rate is discounted and had been $33 a ton. With Tuesday's vote, the rate for high volume users and municipalities became $36 per ton.

Two commissioners wanted to raise the high-volume rate slightly higher.

Commissioner William J. Wivell proposed the high-volume rates be raised to $37, one dollar more than had been discussed at a public hearing in August. Wivell argued that rate would still be competitive with rates offered by Pennsylvania landfills.


Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Pennsylvania rates are probably a little lower than the rates in Washington County.

Snook said although county rates may be higher they probably aren't high enough to sway haulers to leave for Pennsylvania.

"We're going to continue to monitor how quickly it can change from one state to the next," Snook said.

Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said, "We set up discounts to bring major haulers in here in the first place."

Wivell's proposal to lower the discount by $4 was voted down 3-2 .

Snook said if the commissioners were to raise it by another dollar they should go to another public hearing.

After more debate, the commissioners voted 3-2 to raise the high-volume landfill rate to $36 a ton.

County Budget and Finance Director Debra Bastian has been working on a full cost accounting model that will show the cost per ton of each activity in which that Solid Waste Management engages. That accounting model should be finished by January.

During the meeting, a Sept. 4 letter from Hagerstown City Engineer Rodney Tissue, opposing the change to the rate, was mentioned. Tissue said the increased rate would cost the city an estimated $40,000 annually.

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