Landfill fee hikes, municipalities are looking at ways to make up the difference

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:03 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown’s Pick N’ Go Property Waste Services has 4,000 customers in the tri-county area and prices are set to go up. By how much is yet to be determined.

“Just to increase your prices with inflation with the way it is now, with every household, it’s hard to ask for more out of people,” said Randy Comenole, a Managing Member of ick N’ Go Property Waste Services.

A big reason is the Development Authority of the North Country, DANC for short, raised the price it charges to dump garbage into the Rodman landfill.

From the end of your driveway to where it ends up. It is where garbage from Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties is collected.

The price increase came January 1st, charging municipalities $50 per ton up from $47 per ton. It’s a 6% increase approved by the DANC board last year.

“Last June, the southern expansion of the landfill opened and became operational. And we’re required by law to fund a number of different reserve accounts to make sure there’s money always available for closure, and post-closure costs, and things related to that,” said Laurie Marr, DANC’s Director of Communications.

The price change is trickling down to North Country municipalities. The Village of Massena is considering increasing its rate for residents from $21.50 per month to $25 per month.

“DANC raised its cost to the county, and in turn, the county doesn’t really have much choice but to pass down to us, so of course we have to pass down to the rate payer themselves,” said Greg Paquin, Mayor of Massena.

Massena will be holding a public hearing about the increase next month. As for Watertown, City Manager Ken Mix says the city hasn’t decided if it will be increasing its fees for residents.