Cost of using county landfill rising sharply July 1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Beginning July 1, you’ll pay a lot more to dispose of leftover construction material and debris in Rowan County.
In fact, disposal of all waste at the county landfill will cost more.
A new state law, which takes effect July 1, adds a $2-per-ton tipping tax. Money collected through the new fee will be used to clean up abandoned landfills across the state.
The biggest hit locally will come for disposal of construction materials, limbs and similar debris. A new state law will force the county to close its unlined construction debris landfill June 30.
Starting July 1, all construction debris material must go in the lined landfill with all other garbage and solid waste. And the rates will increase to the same amount charged for garbage or municipal solid waste.
The cost for disposal of in-county construction debris will rise almost 50 percent, going from $22 to $32 a ton. Add in the $2 state tax and that jacks the price up to $34 a ton.
Disposal of construction material and debris brought in from outside the county will cost $39 a ton.
Kathryn Jolly, director of the county’s Environmental Services Department, said Rowan will still have the cheapest disposal rates in the region.
But county and state officials are concerned the rate hikes may cause more illegal dumping.
State officials already consider Rowan one of the counties with a problem concerning illegal dumping, Jolly said.
The county doesn’t have a solid waste enforcement officer, she said. A change in county policy that does not allow people to anonymously report illegal dumping already has greatly reduced the number of calls, she noted.
Anyone reporting illegal dumping now is required to give a name and phone number.
Jolly said the state changes are designed to pressure counties to recycle more and construction companies to recycle on site.
Construction debris is defined by state law as materials generated in the remodeling, repair or demolition operations of pavement, buildings or structures.
The county staff has attempted to notify all repeat haulers of construction debris of the changes and the rate increase.
The staff also has notified the towns, which now haul most of their yard waste and other debris to the Campbell Road landfill in Woodleaf.
Rowan County commissioners adopted a resolution last year opposing the legislation that brought about the major changes.
Sen. Andrew Brock and Rep. Fred Steen voted against the bill, Senate Bill 1492. Rep. Lorene Coates voted in favor of it.