Explain reasoning for landfill fee increase
I wish the article about the recommended increase in disposal fees had included the advisory committee’s reasoning. I understand why increases are needed; the actual recommendations are mystifying.
One of the biggest problems facing Douglas County, besides paying for operating the landfill and transfer stations, is running out of room at the landfill. Yet the proposed fees provide a disincentive for people to reduce their waste, punishing those who do. Why generate less when it costs the same for three cans as one?
In my household, we compost, recycle — out of county if necessary — reuse, and don’t buy products, especially food, that come with lots of packaging. We take one bag of garbage to the transfer site every six to eight weeks. Does the advisory committee think we should store garbage for four to six months so we can take three bags and get our money’s worth? Otherwise, our fee will quadruple.
At the current fees, lesser users already pay proportionally more. To equal $3 for 35 gallons, a yard (202 gallons) would cost over $17 (202 ÷ 35 x $3) — not $12. It’s impossible to convert gallons or yards, which measure volume, into tons, which measure weight, but $93 a ton is a real deal — a ton is more than 31 cans (93 ÷ 3) or 7 3/4 yards (93 ÷ 12).
The furor over the fee waiver granted to the Hannas showed that the people of Douglas County want disposal fees to be fair. Want the rate increase to be fair? Leave the per-can rate unchanged and raise the rates only for yards and tons. Need more revenue than that? Increase per-can rates the same 33%, to $4. Either way, have a single can rate.
Advisory committee: If you don’t agree, please explain your thinking to the people of Douglas County.