The Joint Solid Waste Commission has agreed to adjust landfill disposal charges as it contemplates how to deal with a new rate study that could make even more significant changes to fees.
The city-county agency, chaired this year by Floyd County Commission Allison Watters, is also looking at ways to deal with traffic and litter problems in the area of the landfill.
The landfill fees, for the most part, are being rounded to a specific dollar figure — which should keep traffic moving a little more quickly at the pay station instead of attendants having to take time to make change.
As an example, the current fee for garbage and industrial waste between 1,001 and 2,000 pounds is $34.70 per ton. That fee would be rounded up to $35 a ton.
The host rate, which is what the landfill charges city and county trucks bringing in waste, is now set at $32.45 per ton. That will be shifted to an even $32.
The biggest change with the closing of the construction and demolition section of the landfill is that haulers with construction waste loads will not pay the standard tipping fee. They will pay a $10 per ton increased fee, effective June 1.
Consultant Abby Goldsmith presented some preliminary numbers from a solid waste rate study that indicate the need for incremental increases spread across the next decade.
“There’s not a lot of easy solutions here,” said County Manager Jamie McCord. The commission accepted the study on Tuesday but took no action, preferring to examine the numbers over the next couple of months.
Landfill Director Lee Stone said that use of the landfill is continuing to pick up. Just two months into the year, the landfill is running 469 tons ahead of last year.
The Solid Waste Commission also spent a lot of time Tuesday discussing litter and traffic problems at the Walker Mountain Landfill.
Rome Public Works Director Chris Jenkins said he’s been sending street department crews to the landfill as often as twice a week to pick up litter that has blown out of vehicles, or out of the landfill.
They’ve called in county police officers to patrol the roads leading to the landfill a little more closely for the next six to eight weeks, to get a handle on the problem with untarped loads of garbage.
“We have a pandemic on our hands with litter,” McCord said.
Members of the panel discussed contracting for a prison crew to tackle the litter problem inside and near the entrance to the landfill.
That would likely cost $56,000 a year, plus the cost of a vehicle.
The landfill will soon be taking credit card payments but officials did not say when the equipment would be installed.
In order to reduce traffic, Stone asked the panel to consider no longer accepting bagged household garbage.
He estimated that as many as 60 vehicles a day bring household garbage to the landfill when it could easily be disposed of at county remote sites.