Despite Santa Rosa County Landfill generating a profit, Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted February 9 to approve gradually increasing certain rates at the county landfill from $42 to $50 per ton by 2027.
Consultants with Geosyntec, a firm hired by the county develop a solid waste disposal rate study and business plan, provided a related presentation during the board’s January 6 committee meeting.
Geosyntec consultants reported that more than 400,000 tons of trash and recyclables were processed at the landfill during 2021 – a roughly 33% annual increase.
Although a lot of the increased trash brought to the landfill during 2021 was attributed to Hurricane Sally debris, District 4 Commissioner Ray Eddington blamed part of the increase to waste being hauled into to Santa Rosa County for disposal.
Eddington told South Santa Rosa News he believes the gradual increase to better align Santa Rosa’s tipping fees with rates other area landfills charge might help curb the amount of outside waste.
To accommodate the increased waste, the county is planning an expansion to increase its capacity by 2025. In addition to helping fund the expansion, profits from the landfill are also being utilized to fund a new maintenance building.
The February 9 vote was 3-1 in favor of step increases of $2 per ton in 2023, 2024 and 2025 then $1 per ton in 2026 and 2027. District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker was not present for the vote, and District 3 Commissioner James Calkins opposed the hike.
“We respect the County’s foresight in conducting a rate study to ensure that the solid waste fund remains solvent,” said Adams Sanitation Chief Trash Officer Nathan Boyles. ”Given that the County transferred $1.8 million out of the solid waste fund to general revenue in the last year, we would have preferred to see a smaller increase or for that increase to be delayed until 2024.”
Boyles went on to say that since Adams Sanitation has already set its 2023 rates, the company will absorb the added operating expense, and customers will not be directly impacted by the increase voted by the commission and scheduled for October.