As landfill fees change, Waste Management fees change, too
SUMMIT COUNTY – Waste Management officials say the landfill’s recent change in fees forced them to change their own rates.
Effective Nov. 1, customers of the Summit County Landfill will pay fees based on the weight of their trash instead of the volume. Also on Nov. 1, Waste Management will change its fee schedule, adding what its representatives call a cost-of-living increase.
The landfill’s change isn’t designed to increase profits for the county, said landfill manager Ric Pocius.
“As far as the county is concerned, this is a revenue-neutral change,” he said. “We’re not going to see any increase in revenues.”
Pocius said Waste Management “used our conversion as a reason to increase tipping fees.
“I could have probably decreased them, and they would still have increased them,” he said during a recent county commissioners’ worksession.
But with the landfill fees now based on weight, that means it will cost more for Waste Management to dispose of those heavier items, said the company’s director of operations, Dan Kirkpatrick.
“The county won’t see a revenue change on their side – that’s correct for them,” he said, adding that some trash weighs substantially more than others. “If one container was full of construction debris, the other full of paper, you can imagine the weight difference. The customer with the load of paper is going to get a much lower disposal charge than the customer with a load of construction debris.”
“It’s unfortunate we have to do it, but that’s how they want to charge at the landfill,” Kirkpatrick said. “We’re just trying to run our business the best we can.”
Along with those changes, Waste Management simultaneously will add in its annual cost-of-living increase, which will be between 3.5 and 4 percent, Kirkpatrick said. For the average residential customer, the changes will mean an increase of about a dollar in the monthly bill, he said.
This week, Pocius called Waste Management’s move “a business decision.” The fee charged to Waste Management’s vehicles, he said, will vary.
“Some of their vehicles are going to pay more than what they paid in the past,” he said. “Some of them are going to pay less.
“It would seem like maybe if they (Waste Management) had waited a while to see how it would have gone, they could have made a better decision.”
Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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