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Landfill Rates Going Up

For more information, contact:

Caroline C. Chavez

(707) 262-1760

Pursuant to a multi-year fee schedule adopted last year by the Board of Supervisors, gate fees at the Eastlake Landfill will be going up starting July 1, 2012 to offset the costs of landfill operations and increasing and costly compliance regulations.

The tonnage rates will go up 6% from $42.92/ton to $45.50/ton. Volume rates for loads up to 5 cubic yards will go up from $6.10/cy to $6.50/cy. The minimum gate fee will remain at $5, and prices will not change for individual materials such as couches ($10), mattresses ($10-15 depending on size), and 30-gallon bags or cans ($2.00 each). Even with the approved increase, the Eastlake Landfill will have considerably lower rates than surrounding landfills which charge tipping fees in the $60-75/ton range.

Landfill rates will be passed through by the franchise haulers to their curbside residential and commercial customers. Beginning in July 2012 residential customers can expect to see a slight increase to pass through the new landfill increase on their billing statement (about 1% increase) for a standard 32-gallon service in the unincorporated areas. Commercial customers will see about $3.00 to $4.00 per monthly increase for a 4-cubic yard bin picked up weekly for the pass-though cost of new landfill increase. Customer’s total charges depend on the location, size, and frequency of service.

The transfer station operated by Lake County Waste Solutions in Lakeport will also pass through the landfill increases.

Lakeport Transfer Station Rates  Tonnage rate $ 55.10/ton, Volume rate $ 7.45/cy Mattresses/couches $ 10.40 each 30-gallon cans/bags $ 1.70 each Minimum fee $ 5.70

At the same time the multi-year rate increase was approved last year, the Board of Supervisors approved a 5-year contract with Solid Waste Solutions (SWS) to bring about 65 tons per day of refuse beginning in January 2012 from the Ukiah transfer station which they operate for the City of Ukiah. This contract generates approximately three transfer trucks per day Monday through Saturday traveling from Ukiah via Hwy 29 and Hwy 53. The money produced by the 5-year contract allows the County to return to the same level of disposal and income that was produced in 2006. It replenishes the solid waste reserves that are required for the planned expansion of the landfill into adjacent property already owned by the County. That design process must begin in the next couple of years. The cost for this expansion is estimated at $3-5 million. Increased revenue will also provide funding for a State mandate that requires all landfills to install a landfill gas (LFG) system for monitoring and potential conversion of gas to energy at an estimated cost of $3 million. The revenue from the 5-year import contract removes the burden on the local residents and businesses to cover these compliance and expansion costs.

With the import option approved, local ratepayers will see a gradual increase in rates as outlined above to cover only the $500K annual shortfall for normal operations. Had the import option not be approved, the impact on local ratepayers would have been significantly higher. To achieve the same level of revenue that will be brought in by import, rates would have had to go up by 95% immediately, an option that neither staff nor a majority of Board members supported in our fragile economy. Once the initial 5-year contract period has expired, the smaller local increases that were implemented in the previous five years will place the County in a better financial condition to cover its operational and compliance costs and allow the County to determine if an additional 5-year import extension is in the best interest of the County.

For more information on landfill rates, please contact Caroline Chavez at the Public Services Department at 262-1760. New rate sheets are being distributed to customers at the Eastlake Landfill. For more information on curbside rates, contact your franchise hauler. More information on County franchise haulers, programs and recycling opportunities can be found on the County’s recycling website at: www.recycling.co.lake.ca.us.