QUESTION: Why is Alamance County charging people more to haul their own household garbage directly to its municipal landfill?
ANSWER: The business of waste disposal is apparently at the mercy of the same inflationary pressures which drive up the cost of everything else from groceries to natural gas. Even so, it does seem to have taken Alamance County’s landfill a good deal of time to pass down its own cost increases to the residents who drop off their household trash at the landfill’s “convenience center” on Austin Quarter Road.
According to Richard Hill, the landfill’s director, he and his colleagues had managed to forego any rate hikes on these customers since the facility opened for business some three decades ago.
“We had not increased the price since 1993,” Hill recalled in an interview earlier this week.
“So, this year, with all the cost increases we have had, we increased the price of disposing a 13 gallon bag from 50 cents to $1 and from $1 to $2 for anything larger.”
Although the board of commissioners technically approved this hike in January of this year, Hill said that he and his colleagues chose to wait until October 1 to implement the change in order to give customers a chance to acclimate to the higher rates.
“We put up signs at our convenience center and we talked to people about the price increase so our customers would know when it was going up and why it was going up.”
Hill added that, by and large, the cost of recycling has not changed for the landfill’s customers – albeit with one exception.
“The only adjustment in fees was for electronics,” he said. “We have established it at $5 an item, whereas before we assessed it based on volume and weight, and it probably averaged about $3.”
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