Fees to haul rubble from the sites of new or renovated houses have risen sharply in the week since the county's only operating rubble landfill closed temporarily.

Spencer's Sand and Gravel Inc., a 91-acre rubble fill in Abingdon closed March 6 in an effort to conserve space until the state has approved its expansion request.

County trash haulers must now travel to one of two Anne Arundel County rubble fillsthat accept debris from other areas, said William T. Baker Jr., acting director of the Department of Public Works.

But J. P. Roberts, district manager for Eastern Waste Industries Inc., said the long trip is "costing time and money for everybody." EasternWaste, based in North East, Cecil County, disposes of rubble from sites in both Harford and Cecil counties.

Fees for hauling rubble, usually $160 to $190 a load, could go as high as $250 to$500 a load, as a result, Roberts said.

"It's really just an inconvenience for me. It'll take four hours to deliver one load," said Roberts. "It's the consumer that's going to suffer. The small contractor doing roof jobs isn't going to have any place to take his trash. So your $1,000 roofing job goes up to $1,500. You haven't got a better job, you just have to pay for taking the trash away."

But if a Joppa rubble landfill, on Oak Avenue and owned by Pappy Inc., can be open by April 1, the inconvenience and expense to county trash haulers and builders could be minimized, county officials said.

The Oak Avenue site has a state permit to accept rubble, but its owners have voluntarily delayed opening the site because of an American cockroach infestation.

Terry Stancill, president of Pappy Inc., said he is satisfied the roach problem on the rubble fill site has been resolved. He said he plansto open the fill April 1.

Until that happens, however, small building and trash-hauling companies, as well as consumers, are likely tofeel the pinch, Roberts said.

J. Robert Hooper, owner of Harford Sanitation Inc. anothertrash-hauling company, agreed. Hooper said Spencer's Sand and Gravel's closing means his trucks will be able to make fewer trips because of the extra distance.

"And they're each using about $25 more fuel a day," said Hooper, a former County Council member for District D.

Traffic is another problem for haulers, Hooper said, explaining that a truck leaving a construction site with a load of rubble at the start of rush hour will take even longer to complete a trip to Anne Arundel County.

Bel Air developer Clark Turner, owner of Clark Turner Enterprises, said he was not aware Spencer's Sand and Gravel had closed. However, he said, losing the only operating rubble fill in the county could hurt the construction industry.

"The last thing we (homebuilders) need these days is any more costs.It's a tougher market, and every little thing adds up," said Turner."But customers get no perceived value if that truck leaves with the rubble; it's not like it's something you put in their house that thatsee."

But William Geary, a spokesman for Spencer's Sand and Gravel, said if the owners had not closed the rubble landfill, it would have run out of space in four to six weeks.

"We really feel bad about it, but we're almost full," said Geary.

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