Ecdc, Carbon Lawmakers Continue to Negotiate County's Tippage Fees
During a county commission meeting on July 18, local lawmakers conducted a public hearing on the situation at the East Carbon Development Corporation landfill.
The ECDC landfill in East Carbon City is struggling financially due to a 36 percent increase in transportation fuel and 20 percent surcharge for refuse being shipped to the facility.
ECDC representatives approached the commissioners during the meeting about adopting a new tier rate, depending on the tonnage that comes into the landfill from the county.
As tonnage is increased, the rates for Carbon County would go down under the proposal.
At the present time, ECDC collects a $2.50 per ton tippage fee for municipal waste dumped in the landfill from the county.
ECDC and the county commission have been in negotiations for eight weeks and are close to finalizing an agreement.
"This would be a stop gap to keep us in the waste disposal business and help to keep the company viable," pointed out Jeff Green, site manager for ECDC. "One of the radio stations has been announcing that we are requesting an 800 percent increase in disposal rates, but that is not true. We are asking a 31 percent increase to residential waste rates, which is equal to $2.30 to $2.40 per month, with a yearly total cost of $29 per household."
"Commercial waste is a seperate issue," continued Green. "We are asking a 41 percent increase to commercial waste. A three-yard common container would be $12.17 per month increase and an eight -yard heavy commercial container would be $32.39 per month increase."
As of 2007, ECDC has paid more than $3 million to the county in host fees and $330,000 in property taxes. The company representatives indicated that ECDC is looking for ways to become viable and stay open as a landfill.
"What would happen if ECDC closes?" asked Commissioner Mike Milovich before answering the question. "We would be forced to open our own class four landfill. The costs would be more than ECDC charges, which would include manpower, equipment and a place to put the facility."
Currently, there are two landfills in Carbon County.
One, ECDC, is a class five disposal site owned and operated by Allied.
The other is a class four landfill operated by the county. The county site on Airport Road is licensed to dispose of waste metals, wood, non-hazardous construction debris, batteries and dead animals.
The county also accepts waste tires at the facility which are stock piled and transported to the Wasatch Front.
The county landfill is open to residents at no charge seven days a week, except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
ECDC accepts industrial waste generated in Carbon County from the coal mines, gas industry and power plants.
During the public hearing, several members of the community had questions about the situation. Wade Williams from City Sanitation voiced concerns about how the changes will affect local residents.
" I think we would be money ahead to close the local landfill and ship everything to ECDC," he said.
East Carbon's mayor Orlando LaFontaine said that the difficulties at ECDC has hurt his city and closure would hurt it even more.
"East Carbon City has had to restructure our bonds and loans. We have had to raise our sewer rates, and have made adjustment to our bond payments," he stated. "We are almost in default now. We need a guarantee that this landfill will stay open. The facility means everything to us. East Carbon City is struggling as ECDC goes we go."
Local resident Janet Laws asked about what ECDC is doing to secure more contracts. Kirk Treece, ECDC general manager replied that competition in the landfill business is stiff.
"We have 1800 years of permitted air space, and have marketed everyone out there," he said. "Locally we looked at the Moab tailing piles. We have also looked at markets in California and Colorado. We have worked with the state to lower the gross receipt tax, lobbied with state to reduce the municipal solid waste fees from 50 cents to 13 cents. The problem is we are competing with every other landfill in the country. There is a need to conserve this class five landfill. The larger scale demolition jobs have been directed to ECDC, with the exception of East Carbon High School, that bypassed ECDC and was taken elsewhere. The smaller jobs are taken to the local land fill in Price."
Commissioner Bill Krompel suggested that he thought some language could be worked out to help ECDC.
"There is a need to draw up a language on what our land fill will accept," Krompel said. "In terms of tonnage and cubic yards. Anything over the limit will have to go to ECDC. This determination could possibly be done by vehicle type. Two tons or less goes to the county and over two tons would go to ECDC."
On the other hand commissioners discussed what would happen if the county were to close it's class four landfill. They discussed the possibility of trees, bushes and wood filling up our vacant lots and washes, causing fire and flood damage. Dead animals and waste could cause health problems as well.
"In the event that we close, ECDC shall provide a secure location that meets all state regulations for solid waste in Carbon County for any and all acceptable waste generated until 2029," stated Green.
A motion by Krompel to make amended changes to the contract in the next two weeks passed the commission. The matter will be taken up on Oct. 1 and a decision will most likely be made at that time.