SLC Mulls Lowering Trash Prices For Big Haulers

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St. Lawrence County wants your trash.

In fact, it wants it so badly, the county is willing to lower its prices to take care of it.

"We came up today with an entirely different plan that offers the larger haulers a tip fee of approximately $90 dollars a ton," said Joseph Lightfoot, who chairs the county's solid waste committee.

Here's how it works: the county is a garbage middle-man. It has a number of transfer stations that take garbage and then haul it to the Rodman landfill.

For each ton of trash a big garbage hauler brings to the county, it costs them $124 dollars in a tipping fee. But if haulers take the trash to Rodman themselves, it only costs $44.

That's what many haulers have been doing. Even the village of Massena has threatened to stop using the county's trash system.

That's why legislators think lowering the cost will bring them more trash.

"I think it's a well-thought-out plan," Lightfoot said.

Legislator Fred Morrill says it doesn't go far enough. He thinks there needs to be a surcharge -- a penalty of sorts -- at Rodman for big haulers coming from the St. Lawrence County.

He says that's only fair.

"Only the people that use the transfer stations pay for the cost of the administration of the entire system," Morrill said.

If the county isn't making enough money, why not close the trash program down and sell off the assets?

Morrill says he's against that because years ago, St. Lawrence County agreed to take all its trash to the Rodman landfill.

"We know where it goes if we take it there," Morrill said. "We will know that our trash in St. Lawrence County is being delivered as we have agreed."

No action was taken Monday. Even if the county decides to lower the tip fee to $90, they don't know if that discount will bring in enough trash and enough money.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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