- A recent analysis of tipping fee data collected by the Environmental Research Education Foundation (EREF) from 117 municipal solid waste landfills nationwide found that the average fee is $48.27/ton. That figure ranged from $14.47 to $119.00, with the South Central region typically charging the lowest fees, and the Pacific billing the most, as reported in Waste360.
- The landfills were broken down by size, with large sites processing on average 744,000 tons/year, medium sites processing 144,000 tons/year, and small ones managing 13,000 tons/year.
- Below is a breakdown of the average tip fee by geographic region:
- Pacific: $61.20
- Northeast: $58.20
- Southeast: $44.46
- Mountains/Plains: $43.38
- Midwest: $39.64
- South Central: $36.34
While the average tipping fees of some regions were overall higher than others, the figures varied radically. For instance, fees were as low as $24 in some parts of the Pacific and as high as $108 elsewhere in that region. But a common trend around the country is that landfills are raising their fees to accommodate for excess, would-be recyclables that are dumped there and to help cover post-closure expenses, among other reasons.
These fees can be steep and have their impact not only on the haulers, but on customers who are called on to help absorb the cost. Some haulers are getting creative in finding ways to withstand these hikes, for instance proposing charging a temporary recycling fee to offset costs. Casella leveraged a similar concept: a sustainability/recycling adjustment fee, which fluctuates monthly. Such models allow flexibility as markets fluctuate, enabling some haulers to hold on through tough times when their rates, including tipping fees, go up, and their profits go down.