PINEDALE – Starting in January 2019, Sublette County will begin charging to accept waste materials such as batteries, used oil, electronics and Freon appliances into its landfill and logging those materials as they come in.
Currently the landfill takes in many such items at no cost.
“There’s so much stuff coming in that we haven’t been charging for and there’s no way to track it,” Billy Pape, assistant superintendent of the Road and Bridge Department and manager of the Sublette County landfill, told county commissioners at their Tuesday, Oct. 3, meeting.
So at the start of 2019, the county proposes charging $1 per gallon for used oil for up to five gallons; $1 per battery; a $7 scale charge for cardboard; a $7 scale charge for electronics; $5 per unit for Freon appliances; a $7 scale charge for paint; $5 a ton for tree limbs and brush; a $7 scale charge for dead animals; a $7 scale charge for clean, sorted metal; and $5 a ton for clean, sorted wood. There are additional charges for other materials.
But on one key part of the waste stream going into the county landfill, municipal solid waste, there will be no change – it will stay right where it is currently at $35 a ton, despite a tentative plan earlier to double that rate to $70 a ton.
Similarly, the rate for construction and demolition materials will stay at $25 a ton, though that rate, too, had been tentatively slated to rise to $70 a ton.
Pape presented a new set of proposed rates to the Sublette County Commission at this week’s meeting. He said he has been talking to all the trash companies in the county to make sure the rates won’t be too big of an adjustment too fast. That’s why he has revised some of the rates he’d presented to the board in September.
Ryan McGuire of M and M Transfer, who said he attended Tuesday’s meeting because he read about the discussion of landfill rates in the Sublette Examiner, said companies providing garbage collection services want consistency with pricing and policies. But he said he agreed with the direction Pape is moving.
“I think Billy’s on the right track,” McGuire told the commission. “All of the items that come in there have to have some price associated with them.”
After the meeting, McGuire told the Pinedale Roundup that residential probably don’t realize that the county’s low rates at the landfill have kept residential rates for garbage service low.
“If you look around Sublette County, our fees are significantly less to service a residence than in any of the neighboring counties,” McGuire said.
The county is already moving ahead with plans to increase the rate it charges to accept tires at the landfill as of Jan. 1, 2018. The price will go to $4 per tire for car and pickup tires, or $100 per ton for large tires or large loads of tires.
County commissioners Tuesday discussed whether they ought to change the rates for tires immediately – perhaps to avoid a sudden influx of tires as people become aware of the pending increase – but decided to stick with their plan to increase the rates on Jan. 1.
They also encouraged Pape to proceed with plans to recycle the tires the county now has on hand by hauling them to Salt Lake City. Pape has estimated that the tires the county has in the landfill will cost in the neighborhood of $70,000 to recycle. Currently the county charges $35 a tone to accept tires. It will pay at least $200 a ton to recycle them, Pape said, in addition to the transportation costs to get them to Salt Lake City.
The county’s plan also calls for increasing tire rates $30 per ton every year for the next five years to get the fee where it needs to be so that the county is not losing money by accepting tires.