South Canyon Landfill rates increasing for 2023 

El vertedero de la ciudad de Glenwood Springs en South Canyon.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Some rates at Glenwood Springs’ South Canyon Landfill increased this month to keep up with the cost of inflation and processing of certain materials, city officials said. 

“As of January 2023, the base prices for municipal and construction trash dumped into the landfill at South Canyon will increase 3%,” Matthew Langhorst, the city’s public works director, wrote in an email. 

The 3% increase has been added to specific items at the landfill, like solid waste, construction, demolition and loose trash, car-wash liquid waste, septic-tank liquid and more. The majority of the fees are a minor 3% increase to cover the cost of fuel and labor that has gone up over the last year, according to city-council documents. 

“As an enterprise fund, which does not receive tax dollars, the South Canyon Landfill must set prices correctly to generate enough income to cover the costs of processing Glenwood’s trash, recycling, compost and the costs of the recycling center,” Langhorst wrote.

Many items were not increased, and recycling at the recycling center is still not charged. The city added composting free of charge within the last year. 

​Landfill Manager Elizabeth Mauro said the best ways to keep trash prices low are to produce less waste overall by reducing consumption and to compost all food and yard waste.

“We recently added a food-waste collection area at the recycle center for the community to dispose of food scraps for free,” she said.

She added that the landfill wants to encourage composting, and that they are committed to keeping food and yard waste tipping fees much lower than trash fees to incentivize composting. 

There are no price changes for brush, food waste, concrete, leaves, grass, metal, tires, or electronics for recycling or composting, Langhorst wrote. 

Here is the list of landfill rate changes:

Municipal solids waste — 3% Increase from $51.45 to $53 per ton

Out-of-county municipal solid — 3% increase from $103 to $106 per ton

Construction/demolition/loose trash — 3% increase from $50.40 to $51.91 per ton

Out-of-county construction/demolition/loose trash — 3% increase from $71.40 to $73.54 per ton

Unsorted construction and demolition — 10% increase from $80 to 88 per ton

Out-of-county unsorted construction and demolition — 10% increase, $115 to $126.50 per ton

Refrigerator/Freezer/AC Unit — 33% increase from $30 to $40 each

Mattress and box springs — 78% increase from $8.40 to $15 each

Large animal carcass (over 300 lbs) — 59% increase from $12.60 to $20 each

Medium animal carcass (up to 300 lbs) — 59% increase from $10.50 to $16.70

Non-friable asbestos — 3% increase from 23 cents to 24 cents per ton

Septic tank liquid — 3% increase from 23 to 24 cents per gallon

Out-of-county septic tank liquid — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per

Car wash liquid waste — 3% increase from 29 to 30 cents per gallon

Out-of-county car wash liquid waste — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per gallon

Grease liquid waste — 3% increase from 23 to 24 cents per gallon

Out-of-county grease liquid waste — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per gallon

Minimum charge — 5% increase from $9 to $9.50 each

Clean up fee/contamination fee — 33% increase from $75 to $100

Cardboard — 100% increase from $10 to $20

Source: City of Glenwood Springs

“The main costs of processing this waste are labor, fuel, heavy equipment, transporting recyclables and engineering services — increases in these costs are the reason for the small increase in landfill prices this year,” Langhorst wrote. 

Solar panel recycling is a new item being taken at the landfill, charging $20 for small panels and $40 for large panels. 

Cardboard fees have gone up due to handling fees, according to the work-session documents presented to council on Dec. 15, 2022. 

In 2020, South Canyon was charging $10/ton for cardboard, but it costs the landfill around $44/ton to control/handle and process the material.

The document added, if the city bumps up the fee to $20/ton, it is still reasonable but only half what it costs to handle it.

Unsorted construction waste did receive a higher increase to help reduce the amount of materials brought to the landfill unsorted. The low rate fee that the landfill originally had was not enough to encourage contractors and residents to sort it, so the higher fee is meant to incentivize sorting it. 

Refrigerators/freezer/AC units, mattress/box springs and large and medium animals are going up a fair percentage for the costs of processing, documents state. The cost for the landfill to properly dispose of these items has gone up, causing the landfill to have to increase prices as well. 

“Some other services, like refrigerator recycling and solar-panel recycling, are priced to exactly cover the cost of the recycling service that we pay to a contractor — so increases in those prices are due to an increase in the contractor’s fee for service,” Langhorst wrote.

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