- The Reno County Commission in Kansas is considering a plan that would charge $100 per year in property tax fees. This would be more than a 41% increase in total fees over five years, but the commission's chairman has said the plan is a "necessary evil" to help cover expected landfill costs.
- In 2012, the county started working on a 50-year plan for the landfill that would involve expansion rather than relocation. Once the remaining 22 acres of open space are filled, the site will begin a vertical expansion.
- Some facilities will have to be relocated as part of the expansion and new environmental regulations also require the installation of a new $2.4 million methane collection system.
Tax increases are never popular, but consultants say that when Reno's fees are compared to traditional tipping fees, the county is still paying less than the statewide average of $39 per ton. Reno residents currently pay $17.47 and that would increase to $24.90 by 2021. County officials said they considered directly raising tipping fees at the local landfill but thought private carting companies might pass those costs along to residents anyway.
Reno County also wants to make sure it can save enough money for post-closure costs as mandated by federal law. The county currently has $5 million set aside, but the state says it will need at least $13 million. As Bozeman, MT learned in a recent legal settlement, landfills can be expensive long after they're closed.
Local officials also hope that increased recycling rates can help prolong the landfill's life. Kansas has seen encouraging signs on that front. The state's recycling rate increased from 17.9% in 2005 to 34% in 2013 and landfilling decreased by 24%.