The fee to deposit trash at the Douglas County Landfill and transfer stations will increase to $4 for a 35-gallon can, up a dollar from the previous rate.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved a new fee structure last week. The new rates will begin on Wednesday.
For those bringing more than a can, the charge will be $8 for two cans, $12 for three cans and $16 for a cubic yard. Each additional cubic yard will be another $16.
The previous fees were $3 per can and $12 per cubic yard.
This is the first increase since the commissioners created landfill fees five years ago. Prior to that, county residents deposited their trash for free.
The commissioners also voted last week to keep all 11 of the county’s transfer stations open. One early suggestion for reducing the county’s solid waste costs had been to reduce the number of transfer stations around the county by eliminating those that were least cost effective.
The new fees were debated for more than a year by the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. That committee also recommended against closing any transfer stations, based on feedback from members of the public.
In December 2019, SWAC recommended a higher fee — $8 per can — as a way to pay for increased costs of the landfill operation while keeping the transfer stations open.
The commissioners rejected that fee proposal last week, saying it was too high.
The commissioners said in a news release that the increased fees are needed to pay expenses related to Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency mandates.
Among the biggest of these costs was an increase from $500,000 to $1.2 million in the annual amount the county must set aside in a financial assurance account that will one day pay for the landfill’s closure.