August 5, 2008

Trash Dumping Fees to Rise at Franklin County Landfill

By Barbara Carmen, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Aug. 5--Central Ohioans who hire private haulers will likely pay more next year to make their trash disappear.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio approved a $2-per-ton increase in tipping fees this afternoon.

Rumpke Consolidated Cos., which collects trash at 375,000 central Ohio households and businesses, will pass along the fee to private customers and, where contracts allow, to towns, said Jonathan Kissell, a company spokesman.

"Rumpke has no control over these costs, but they will have a direct impact on our operation."

Fees are shouldered by taxpayers in Columbus, by residents of suburbs who pay trash-collection fees and by private businesses.

It will cost $35.50 to dump a ton of trash at the landfill starting Jan. 1, up from $33.50 now.

The authority backed off a fee increase for 2008 after customers complained they couldn't handle it on short notice. SWACO cut its 2008 expenses by $3 million but has siphoned another $3 million from its rainy-day fund to cover an unexpected shortfall that it blames on the bad economy.

The authority is facing higher fuel costs, lower interest earnings and more-frugal customers who are throwing less away. Less trash dumped translates into less income at the Grove City-area landfill.

The authority is expected to use the fee increases to buy time as it looks for a better way, long term, to pay for the landfill and recycling programs.


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