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Commissioners favor $40-per-ton tipping fee Trash program estimated to cost $53 per ton


The county commissioners are moving forward with a proposed $40-per-ton tipping fee, even though the cost of a revised solid waste management program, which would include mandatory recycling, is projected to be higher.

During a work session Wednesday on proposed revisions to the county's Solid Waste Management Ordinance, officials said they expect the cost of burying and recycling trash to be about $53 per ton.

County Attorney Charles W. Thompson Jr. said commissioners believed that raising the tipping fee by $25 -- from $15 per ton to $40 -- was enough to make the revised program operable. Mandatory recycling is to begin July 1.

"In consideration that other fees are [being placed] on people in Carroll, we felt we have to minimize the impact," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy, referring to a proposed 85 percent increase in water and sewer rates for some county residents.

"But we're doing so in full recognition that the actual cost is $53."

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said that part of the rationale for minimizing the increase is the lackluster economy.

"We thought $40 was sufficient," she said.

Thompson said it was unlikely that the commissioners would raise the tipping fee during fiscal 1993, which begins July 1. However, he said, an increase is likely the following year to cover the cost of disposing of trash from new homes, especially if there is a drop in the market value of aluminum.

In implementing mandatory recycling for residents and businesses, the county is working to comply with a state requirement that Carroll recycle 15 percent of its solid waste by 1994.

A hearing on the proposed revisions to the county's solid waste ordinance will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the gymnasium of the Multi-Service Center, 224 N. Center St., Westminster.

The county is close to reaching a $258,000 contract with Phoenix Recycling Inc. of Finksburg to operate a recycling facility for materials such as newspapers, cardboard, office and other paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic.

Currently, the county generates about 120,000 tons of trash a year. County officials estimate that recycling will reduce that figure by about 18,000 tons.

Thompson said county officials estimate that about $2 of the proposed tipping fee will cover the costs associated with mandatory recycling.

Sykesville, which has a successful voluntary recycling program, would receive a $2 reduction in the proposed tipping fee.

However, Sykesville officials have protested that the reduction is not enough in light of the town's rate of recycling 23 percent of its trash.

Haulers and business owners expressed concern during Wednesday's session at having to provide the county with lists of customers and customer routes.

Thompson said the county would no longer require the submission of customer lists under the proposed revisions.

Haulers complained that adding a line to customers' bills about the county's proposed $40-per-ton tipping fee would be costly. The notice would state that the yearly cost for a family of four would be about $60.

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