Garbage haulers see increase in fee to use local transfer station

Published 11:09 am Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Increases in cost to the management company of the local garbage transfer station have led to an increase in the cost for the companies and municipalities that take trash there.

The local transfer station is managed by Amwaste, part of Matter Management.

During its Jan. 18 meeting, the Chilton County Solid Waste Disposal Authority discussed the increased gate fee at the Chilton County transfer station and possible alternatives.

Amwaste has had to change the landfill it is taking the trash to due to an increase in the disposal fee at the end of a contract. However, the landfill that the company is using in Shelby County is still more than what Amwaste had been paying.

On Jan. 10, the fee for independent trash haulers in the county and any municipalities that still have trash taken to the transfer station changed to $68 per ton. Randy Lee, chief operating officer of Matter Management, said the change is simply passing on the $15 per ton increase that the company is paying at the landfill. He said this is just about breaking even.

The rate for loads under 300 pounds has remained at $15.

Amwaste “is in negotiation with our subcontract hauler” to see if there might be any savings since the landfill would be closer, according to Lee. However, he said any savings would be “minimal.”

In a letter to customers, Amwaste said the $68 per ton was not the final new price, but that there would be discussion with the Chilton County Solid Waste Disposal Authority.

Lee told the board that he had “wanted to bring you something more concrete” to discuss about the rate, but holidays and having staff out due to COVID-19 delayed finalizing with the subcontractor.

Independent companies that haul garbage in the county were present, but did not comment on how this may impact their prices.

Jemison and Maplesville have contracted out garbage service to companies that do not use the transfer station. Clanton is about to do the same.

A long-term solution of establishing a landfill in Chilton County to be able to have more control on the situation was discussed.

Board member Rose Landrum said establishing a landfill had been discussed about four years ago. Board member Allen Payton said the board had already had the studies done, but “we could never get host government approval for it.”

These studies showed six acres would be needed to start and would last about eight years.

“We meet the minimum criteria right now,” Payton said.

Payton said the current configuration is out dated. He said putting this on 200-350 acres would give room for future years and create a buffer between it and property owners. Landrum commented that landfill facilities “are a lot safer than they used to be.”

“Our host government would have to be the County Commission,” board member Allen Caton said, based on state law and how the board is structured.

Board member Jimmie Hardee said it was something that needed to be discussed to find the best solution.

Bidding out the service again was briefly discussed. Lee said any other agreement would need to be with someone with a landfill.