AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council tabled a proposed ordinance Monday that would have set new tipping fees at the parish landfill located near Independence.
They did so to have more time to study the matter. Councilman Carlo Bruno, who chairs the council’s Landfill Committee, asked the council to decide on the issue at its Jan. 12 meeting so the new rates could go into effect by March 1.
The proposal calls for an increase of $6 per ton for commercial waste, with the tipping fee going from $29 to $35 per ton. The fee for parish residential waste, now set at $30.13 a ton, would be increased by $1. Rural waste contract haulers would continue to be charged $12.48 a ton. Disposal of roofing materials would remain the same at $14.57 per ton. The disposal of sewer sludge and liquid waste would be set at 15 cents a gallon, the current rate.
Rural residents still would be allowed to dispose of household waste at the landfill free of charge. Those residents pay a 10-mill property tax that goes toward maintenance of the landfill. Rural residents who choose to use a disposal company pay an additional $12 fee for their household garbage to be picked up and disposed of at the landfill.
Bruno said about 67 percent of all materials going into the landfill fall under the commercial waste category.
Parish Finance Director Jeff McKneely told the council the proposed new rates should bring in about $500,000 a year to be used to expand the landfill. McKneely said the parish owns 60 additional acres at the landfill but much of that land cannot be used as is because it is designated as wetland. With the additional money, he said, the parish could mitigate the 60 acres and acquire more land to expand the facility.
McKneely said space at the existing landfill will be used up within the next three years if more acreage is not obtained. “If we have to close the landfill and go out of parish, tipping fees would cost about $45 a ton, much more that what is being paid now. We remain the best bargain for waste disposal throughout the area, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
If the new tipping fees are adopted in January, McKneely said, there will not be another increase until at least 2016.
Council members agreed to meet with representatives of the parish’s municipalities to discuss the matter.