- Florida’s Santa Rosa County will likely increase tipping fees for the first time in 20 years as it prepares to expand its landfill.
- A 10-year rate study and business plan was completed for Central Landfill by SCS Engineers to help determine the best fee to enable the land expansion and sustain ongoing operations. A main recommendation is raising the tipping fee to somewhere between $34 per ton and $38 per ton, though SCS submitted four possible scenarios of tipping fees for the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners’ consideration.
- The board is slated to set the rate this month based on the study, designed to forecast solid waste collection and disposal’s financial performance for FY 2016-2025. Meanwhile, construction of a new six-acre cell is underway to accommodate waste from outside of the county, and is expected to open in February 2016, increasing the landfill’s life by four years.
Santa Rosa Central Landfill has lower tipping fees significantly more than surrounding landfills. Now, with a need to increase the site’s capacity, the county must consider resulting expenses — permitting, design, excavation, lining installation, and other investments to ensure compliance with environmental policies — not to mention construction costs.
Meanwhile, many other counties around the U.S. are projecting that their landfills will run out of space in nearing years and are trying to figure out how to prepare financially, including Lancaster County, which is looking at spending $56 million on such a project.
"The proposed increase in tipping fees is still less than tipping fees in nearby landfills," stated Ron Hixson, Santa Rosa County’s Environmental Director. "We’ve identified the acceptable rate needed to support our investment to accommodate the county’s growth and landfill capacity, along with continued clean, safe services to customers."