Glenwood Springs looks to increase South Canyon Landfill rates
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The city of Glenwood Springs is preparing to consider an increase in tipping fees at its South Canyon Landfill, a move that is likely to have ripple effects at other area landfills and in rates for residential and commercial trash hauling services.
A recent rate and operations cost study for the city-owned landfill recommends a $4 increase in the current municipal solid waste fee charged to trash haulers. That would raise the rate from $36 to $40 per ton.
The current rate is meeting the landfill’s costs for now, explained King Lloyd, the city’s solid waste and resource recovery manager, in a recent memo to city officials.
But, the rate study also addressed future costs for both operations and to complete a planned 12-acre expansion at the landfill sometime in the next two years. Rate increases are being proposed to make up those costs, he said.
“For the most part, the charges to individual customers will be staying the same,” Lloyd said. “A few of them, because of the cost of handling and expenses, will need to have some adjustments.”
One is the rate for disposing of waste concrete, from the current flat rate of $10 per ton to $20 for concrete without rebar and $40 for concrete that contains rebar.
The rate for the landfill to take contaminated soil would also increase under the proposal from $50 per ton to $52.
It is recommended that the cost for construction and demolition waste stay the same, at $48 per ton.
A new 2-acre cell expansion is under way at South Canyon, which will add another four to five years of air space for current municipal solid waste volumes, Lloyd said.
The larger 12-acre expansion will necessitate the recommended $4-per-ton tipping fee increase for municipal waste, which should cover the cost of expansion in four years, he said.
“These adjustments could have a ripple effect with other landfills, which would warrant continuous monitoring of the market,” Lloyd advised in this memo outlining the fee proposal.
By comparison, the West Garfield Landfill outside Rifle, which is operated by Garfield County, charges a municipal waste rate of $42 per ton for trash coming from within the county, and $84 if it comes from outside the county.
The Eagle County Landfill charges $39 per ton for compacted waste, and the Pitkin County Landfill charges $52.
“This rate proposal does still keep us competitive with the other area landfills, but we do have to watch what happens with the market once we make these changes,” City Manager Jeff Hecksel observed at the Aug. 1 Glenwood Springs City Council meeting when the matter was discussed.
Council directed staff to prepare a resolution for formal consideration at council’s Aug. 15 meeting and again on Sept. 5. If adopted, the new rates would likely go into effect before the end of September.
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