Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – April 21, 2017- Can you believe we have among the highest tipping fees in the state? What are tipping fees? It’s a gate fee (or tipping fee) is the charge levied upon a given quantity of waste received at a waste processing facility. In the case of a landfill it is generally levied to offset the cost of opening, maintaining and eventually closing the site. It may also include any landfill tax which is applicable in the region.
If you could save 16% on a service you pay for month-in and month-out, would you be interested in listening to more? Would you do something to get rid of the waste? What can you do? For 10 years that we’ve lived here the Del Norte County Solid Waste Authority Joint Powers of Authority (JPA), has performed the duties of a middle man. Do you remember when the BOARD was paying $300/meeting stipend to their commissioners? What a rip-off. How many other ways have they been ripping us off? Missing funds? Yes – never properly investigated. Money diverted? Yes. Higher fees than most of the state of California? Yes. There was even a $30,000 report done that said in effect, you have too much weight at the top…. meaning management is being paid too much and there are too many people in management.
Since the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors seems locked in a 3-2 battle of dysfunction, we can’t wait for them to act. The Crescent City, City Council led by Mayor Blake Inscore has his board following him like lemmings. Personally, I’m sick and tired of paying outrageous fees just to support salaries and benefits when we can get the same service for 16% less by dismantling the JPA. So, if we can’t get our politicians on board, how do we accomplish change? And, do you realize how crazy it is to have one small city and one small county form a JPA to deal with garbage?
Here’s what you can do.
Tell them you’re not going to take it anymore!
Tell them you want your bill reduced by 16%!
Tell them you want the JPA eliminated NOW, not wait another 2 years to vote out their supporters.
Where can you tell them – May 16th, 3:30 pm at the Flynn Center in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.
If you don’t want to wait, sent letters to editor and write,” I”m tired of being ripped off. I want a 16% reduction in my trash bill by getting rid of the JPA.”
Our county is paying $144/ton tipping fees – let’s take a look see at what other counties are paying.
Landfill Fees and Funding Mechanisms (from a 2013 report by the State)
Most landfills charge a fee to accept waste, but some publicly owned sites are funded through different mechanisms, such as property taxes or the General Fund. Publicly Posted Self-Haul Landfill Tipping Fees Tipping fees are paid at the gate of a landfill for waste disposal by the customer and are based on the weight or volume of the load, truck type, customer type, and/or existing negotiated rates. Tipping fees at landfills may not always represent the complete cost of landfilling.
CalRecycle conducted a survey of these fees publicly posted tipping fees for municipal solid waste at landfills in 2013, and published the findings in 2015.26 Tipping fees are a complex data set with regional variations that reflect California’s diverse demographics and population distribution. California’s statewide median publically posted self-haul tipping fee was $45 per ton, and 46 percent of landfills were found to charge between $36 and $50 per ton. As shown in Figure 43, there is a wide range of assessed fees ($0 to $125). In the Bay Area and Coastal regions, the median posted self-haul tipping fees is higher than the state median (Bay Area median $68, Coastal median $64). The Southern region median was less than the Bay Area or Coastal regions, but at $56 per ton was still was above the state median. In contrast, the Central Valley region’s median was the same as the statewide median ($45 per ton median), and all but four of the fees in the Central Valley fell below the statewide median. The only region that did not clearly fall below or above the statewide median was the Mountain region, with half the landfills in the region charging below $42 per ton and the other half charging above $70 per ton. The study also found, from a small sample of 22 agreements, that negotiated rates between haulers/jurisdictions and landfills were approximately $25 less than the posted rates. These negotiated rates were discounted between 11 percent and 76 percent, with only two negotiated fees being higher than the posted public tipping fee rate (both were 20 percent higher)