County Plans Hefty Rate Hikes For Landfills

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As of July, what you throw away at Buckhead Mesa landfill is going to cost you more.

The Gila County Solid Waste Department is increasing its landfill fee from $31 to $37 per ton of trash a hike of 19 percent and its construction-debris fee will rise from $34.10 to $40.70 per ton delivered.

"The reason the fees had to be increased is that we are in the process of having to expand our landfills and close landfills that are now filled," said John Nelson, Gila County's director of finance.

"Landfills are simply getting more and more expensive. To construct them you have to put in liners, they're filling up quickly, and once you close one you have to monitor it for 30 years," Nelson said. "Obviously, there's two ways the government can pay for something: one is a user fee and one is a tax. The Gila County Board of Supervisors feels that the high-generating residences and businesses should pay, and not ordinary taxpayers."

The last general landfill rate increase a much smaller hike from $30 to $31 occurred last year.

that private haulers, cities and towns could set their budgets," Nelson said. "This is something where people need some lead time to react."

Locally, the increase guarantees higher residential waste collection fees.

"We want everyone to know it will raise our rates," said Melodi Deaton, site manager for Waste Management in Payson. "We can't afford not to. Right now we don't know what that increase will be."

Over at Roadrunner Rubbish Removal, Barbara Byrne said "No one has yet decided" if their fees will go up as well.

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