- Florida's Okeechobee County Commission is considering an amendment that would reduce Waste Management’s host fees once a base tonnage of waste is met at the landfill. The idea is help Waste Management stay competitive with other regional landfills; the company has paid the county about $89 million in host fees over 24 years, according to 4-Traders.
- The board has agreed to a suggestion of the county’s attorney, John Cassels, to hold off on a decision until he has reviewed the proposed agreement. Cassels also called on the board to write the issue of a stormwater retention problem into the amendment.
- Meanwhile, Waste Management agreed to increase MSW tonnage brought in from other counties from 42,170.98 to 44,775 tons, although C&D would remain at the current tonnage.
Competition from neighboring landfills can tax a company’s budget and operations. Businesses are forever looking for ways to negate or lessen that burden, for instance by tapping into markets where a municipality controls the landfill. Though in this case, the municipality may not make it easy for Waste Management.
When Cassels advised the county to take its time over the amendment, and to consider making a stormwater retention issue a point of contention, Jeff Sabin of Waste Management tried to redirect to the issue of rising costs. He offered to sweeten the deal for Okeechobee in exchange for a lower host fee on tonnage, pointing out they could haul more trash in at a lesser expense.
He was heard, but when he commented on the stormwater issue, calling it unrelated to the host fee, Cassels fired back: "Your company is coming to this county asking for relief for contractional obligation. This is a good time for the county to make sure there is not anything outstanding," he said as reported in 4-Traders.