County legislators approve transfer station dumping fee hike at meeting in Canton Tuesday
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- Dumping fees at St. Lawrence County transfer stations have increased, while recycling fees will be reduced.
The proposal passed Tuesday at the County legislators meeting, with Chairman Kevin Acres and Joe Timmerman opposed.Timmerman said the he believed the direct haul fees were unfair to residents and being used to subsidize a program that is supposed to be “enterprise” or self-sufficient. He said the direct fees were forcing St. Lawrence County residents to pay for a service they don’t use.
Direct haul fees are a surcharge to haulers like Casella who do not use the St. Lawrence County Transfer Station. Some towns use these director haulers for municipal waster removal, because they are not located within a close distance to the county transfer stations.
The original reason for the direct haul surcharge was to cover the maintenance of the county’s three closed landfills. The landfills are located in Massena, Ogdensburg and Canton. Everyone in the county contributed to what was buried in these landfills and will be responsible forever for their maintenance.
The annual funds collected from the direct haul surcharge is supposed to be approximately 50 percent of the county’s expenses related to landfill maintenance.
Traditionally the county has levied what amounts to a penalty on those who haul directly to the regional landfill in Rodman and bypass the county’s three transfer stations.
Non-hauler trash fees will rise by $2 to $158 per ton, while trash fees for haulers will rise to $132. Construction and demolition dumping fees for non-haulers will rise to $160 per ton, an increase of $2, while construction and demolition dumping fees for haulers will rise by $2 per ton to $132.
Non-haulers refers to people who drive their own trash to the transfer station, while haulers are people or companies who pick up trash for others and bring it to the station.
Recycling fees for everyone will drop from $40 to 35 per ton.
Acres said he believed the recycling fees were inadequate to cover costs and feared the county would be losing money be keeping the fees at such a low rate.
The county will also increase costs for those disposing of tires. For oversized tires the rate will increase from $330 to $332 per ton, while regular tire disposal will rise from $130 to $132 per ton.
For those who take their trash directly to the landfill, the county will now charge $8 per ton, that’s up 50 cents from the previous year.
The new rates will be effective March 1.