The landfill is a self-supporting enterprise fund, with no subsidy from property taxes. Rome Public Services Director Kirk Milam said a revenue boost is needed to cover operations, equipment, expansions and post-closure costs.
“This would be across-the-board, except for the Allied contract,” he said.
Allied Waste Systems, by far the biggest customer, has a discounted contract of $21.35 a ton through 2017 as long as it brings in a minimum average of 100 tons per day.
Preferred haulers who bring in more than 1,300 tons a month could see a hike from $25.60 a ton to $26.30 a ton.
Rates for other commercial and residential customers also would rise. For example, the flat rate for dumping as much as 100 pounds would increase to $4.92 from $4.80, and loads as large as 250 pounds would go to $9.74 from $9.50.
Milam has drawn up a five-year plan that examines projected volume and costs, including long-term expenses to monitor closed landfills as required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
He’s proposing a 2.5-percent increase in each of the next five years to keep the books balanced.
“Remember, there will be no revenue generated once we’re closed,” he said.
Members of the city-county Solid Waste Commission are reviewing the projections and are expected to make a decision in January.
While the landfill fees are higher than at many other facilities, City Manager John Bennett said the space also is an asset to Rome and Floyd County. Permits are getting harder to come by, and many communities have to pay to have their garbage hauled elsewhere.
“With a private operation like what Polk County has, the objective is to fill it up as quick as you can to get the money,” Bennett said. “That’s not our goal.”
Milam said the landfill is at 42-percent capacity and the section open now, Phase 7, is expected to last until 2020. Total capacity will take the county through 2030.