County mulling waste fee
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO With the looming closure of the landfill next year, Sullivan County is headed toward an entirely different way of dealing with its trash.
On Thursday, John Culbertson of Mid-Atlantic Solid Waste Consultants gave a report to legislators detailing how the transition to a solid waste fee system would be implemented.
In essence, every piece of improved property in Sullivan County whether taxable or tax-exempt would be charged a garbage fee based on how much trash that type of property is expected to generate.
As a result, tipping fees would be eliminated for all but construction and demolition debris (which is not typically a continuing waste stream from a particular property).
Fees would likely start at $90 a year for seasonal homes and $181 for year-round residences, based on data gathered by Culbertson.
Private haulers would still be allowed to charge their own fees, but residents and businesspeople dropping off their own trash at the transfer stations would avoid haulers’ charges and not pay any tipping fees.
If all the trash generated in the county was disposed of at county facilities, Culbertson estimated that more than $11 million would be realized with this new system $6 million more than current projected revenues and $2 million above the projected expenditures of the landfill for 2009.
“It would be a much more equitable system than we have now,” said Legislature Chair Jonathan Rouis, noting that about 20 percent of the county’s properties are tax-exempt and thus do not help fund the landfill’s operation, save for tipping fees.
Legislators will need to make a decision soon, as the landfill is being closed next year, and exportation of trash will begin at that point.
In the meantime, the public will have a chance to comment on the proposal at a public hearing set for Thursday, November 5 at noon at the Government Center in Monticello.
For more information, contact the County Legislature at 807-0435.