Cass County Landfill may raise tipping fee

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The price garbage haulers and persons who dispose of large amounts of trash pay to the Cass County Landfill may be going up. Wendy Wittrock, Operations Manager of the Cass County Landfill, said at today’s (Wednesday’s) Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the Cass County Environmental Control Agency is noticing a shortfall in funds based on the tip fee. The landfill is funded 100-percent by tipping fees, instead of fees charged on a Per Capita basis. Those are funds paid through taxes that subsidize landfills and related programs. Wittrock says Cass County has not had a per capita fee charged since the early 1990’s. Wittrock says they gave those fees back to communities in the County, because the landfill wanted to be “self sufficient.” She says one of the options the Environmental Control Board is considering to meet their budget, is to increase the fee at the landfill.

The only other county in our area that does not charge a per capita fee, is Page County. The current tip fee in Cass County is $80 per ton. The ECB is proposing a $10 increase, or $90 per ton. Wittrock says their operating budget includes the recycling programs, hazardous waste disposal, debt repayment, 30-years post closure – for which money is set aside each year, and DNR fees every quarter. Those costs are reflected in their expenses. She says it’s been six-years since there’s been an increase in the tipping fees. Wittrock says there aren’t many actual Sub Title “D” landfills left in southwest Iowa, because many counties have chosen to ship their waste to transfer stations many miles, or counties away. The reason for the current, projected budget shortfall at the Cass County landfill, according to Wittrock, is because of a decrease in the amount of actual waste coming in, and new regulations put in place by the DNR, pertaining to landfill use and waste containment.

The Cass County E-C-B is reviewing their budget options and alternatives, and no decision has been made on increasing the tipping fee at this time. If the tipping fee is increased $10, private garbage collection agencies will pass the cost along to their customers. Those same agencies are also facing increased fuel costs, which will likely add to the rate customers pay for their weekly trash removal.

For more information on the Cass County Landfill, go to http://www.casscountylandfill.com/