The more we recycle, the less trash we create. And less trash means less revenue for the Chittenden Solid Waste District. As a result, beginning Sept. 1, CSWD will increase tipping fees by 22 percent.
"A typical resident will see somewheres 37-to-40 cents a month or $5 a year. A typical small business will see about $50 a year," said Tom Moreau, the general manager of CSWD.
The new fee comes one year ahead of schedule and will be charged on each ton of trash dumped in Chittenden County. The increase will first be passed along to garbage removal and recycling companies, who will then pass the fee along to residents. Myers Container Service will adjust that fee depending on how much trash a household or business creates.
"Small household won't get passed on as much, a larger account will get passed on more, but it's all in what the consumer generates," said Jeff Myers, the president of Myers Container Service.
In 2012, CSWD was plagued by contaminated compost that cost the district $800,000. That combined with a decrease in trash has the district scrambling to pay for one-third of its annual budget.
"We're a victim of our own success, but it also brings up the dilemma that we need to figure out either drastically reduce staff or continue the mission, but find an alternative funding mechanism to do that," Moreau said.
The new waste management fee may not be the only additional charge for residents.
"They're also doing it at their drop-off centers. Their drop-off centers have a substantial jump, as well. They're going up 14 percent at the drop centers, but to the haulers they're going up 22 percent," Myers said.
But as the fees are set to kick in Sept. 1, Myers hopes his plans to open a new Construction and Demolition Recycling Facility will help offset the new charges.
"Hopefully we'll be up and running by September where we're to be able to save the contractors some money so they won't get hit with all this increase but they will get hit with some of it," Myers said.
But residents will still see those costs come fall.
CSWD last raised rates in 2009.
Myers says the district should use some of the $5 million it has on hand to avoid raising rates again. But CSWD says it's required by law to have enough cash to maintain the landfill for 30 years.