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Landfill fees increase in new county budget

Staff Writer

Lincoln County residents are facing new rules and fees regarding disposing of their solid waste. According to county officials, these changes, which were enacted July 1, were deemed necessary for the continued cost effective landfill operation and future cell expansions. County commissioners voted to approve the new rules as part of the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget.
“The county knows it will have to open a new lined cell at the landfill and close an older cell during the budget year that starts July 1,” County Manager Tracy Jackson said. “There will be a substantial cost associated with the opening and closure of these areas. Staff has estimated this cost to be $3,190,000 for this project. Unfortunately, that is the cost of operating and maintaining a landfill for our citizens to safely dispose of their waste.”
According to Jackson, the county looked at several possibilities for financing the project.
“I asked Solid Waste Manager Mark Bivins to do a survey of the surrounding counties to compare our fees against those of our neighbors,” he said. “That survey showed that Lincoln County Solid Waste was charging less in terms of fees for various types of waste.”
According to Bivins’ survey, Catawba County currently charges its residence $33 for both municipal solid waste and C&D waste, while Gaston County charges $33 for municipal solid waste and $24 for C&D waste. Cleveland County charges $37.50 for municipal solid waste and $21.55 for C&D waste.
The fee for tipping municipal solid waste in Lincoln County has increased from $32 per ton to $38 per ton. The fee for tipping C&D waste has increased from $20 per ton to $30 per ton. While asbestos and yard waste remains at $200 and $16 per ton respectively, pallets per ton have increased from $20 to $30. A $2 minimum for material sent across the scales will be implemented.
Construction and demolition waste (C&D) will no longer be accepted at Lincoln County convenience sites. According to the county’s press release, Lincoln County initially began accepting C&D waste at the convenience sites in 2008, in an effort assist homeowners with disposing small amounts of construction debris from their homes. Since then, the county has seen the amounts of debris brought to the convenience sites increase. Therefore, only residents with minor “wheelbarrow sized loads” can dispose of C&D waste in the bulk waste containers at convenience sites on a limited basis. Those with larger amounts must transport their C&D waste to the landfill, where tipping fees will apply.
Private haulers will now be charged a tipping fee. A survey of surrounding counties found private haulers are typically charged Solid Waste Tipping Fees in other counties.
“Some citizens bring their waste and recyclables to convenience sites and other citizens may contract with private haulers to take their waste to the Lincoln County Landfill,” the press release said. “Citizens who wish to bring their trash to convenience centers or to the landfill will not be charged for dumping their residential municipal solid waste. Lincoln County citizens pay an annual ‘Landfill Availability Fee’ to support landfill operations and ensure there are facilities to dispose of county generated waste.”
The press release said those interested in learning more about the Landfill Availability Fee should visit www.lincolncounty.org/solidwaste. Those interested in more information about the new fee changes should contact Solid Waste Manager Mark Bivins at (704) 736-9030 or Public Works Director Don Chamblee at (704) 736-8497.

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