Regional Landfill rates increase Jan. 1

By Allen Worrell -

For the first time in 18 years, the Carroll-Grayson-Galax Regional Landfill will incorporate a rate increase, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Tipping fees for customers hauling three 30-gallon bags or less will be $4 under the new rate structure, compared to the previous rate of $3 for three 30-gallon bags or less. Customers bringing four 30 gallon bags or more will now be charged $8 as opposed to old rate of $7.

Additionally, customers bringing in trash on a 1-axle trailer will be charged $9 under the new rate, up from the current rate of $7, while those hauling trash on a two-axle trailer will be charged $11 under the new rate, up from the 2015 rate of $9.

There will also be some modifications in the rates for tires. Rates will stay $1 for standard car and truck tires off the rim with a limit of four, and $2 for standard car and truck tires on the rim with a limit of four. However, all other tires and standard car and truck tires over the limit of 4 will be charged at $100 per ton.

Landfill Manager Allen Lawson said the nine-member Regional Solid Waste Authority board recently voted unanimously to approve the rate increases. The board is comprised of three members each from Carroll County, Grayson County and the City of Galax. The Carroll-Grayson-Galax Regional Landfill is located at 162 Landfill Road in Hillsville.

“The Solid Waste Authority wants to operate as efficiently as possible and keep prices as low as possible,” Lawson said. “From July of 1997 to January 1 of 2016, tell me something else that hasn’t gone up. It’s just a minimal increase in the big picture. “

Lawson said Carroll County will run an ad in local newspapers three times in the month of December to inform the public of the rate increases. It has been nearly 20 years since the last increase, he said, and this increase was necessary due to the rising cost of equipment and construction over the years.

“We are just trying to generate more revenue to keep it operating,” Lawson said. “We have to do something to keep the revenue up with the expense.”

With the changes, Lawson said the Solid Waste Authority is also trying to make the fee fairer for all parties. For instance, in the past customers in cars were charged $3 for a load of trash, while customers in pickups had to pay $7. Now the charge is based solely on the amount of 30 gallon bags brought to the landfill.

“We do have a lot of people that haul their trash in cars and SUVs, and people with a pickup have to pay that higher price. It’s a little more fair now,” Lawson said. “It’s not a huge increase by any means, but we do feel like it will generate enough revenue to keep things going along as efficiently as we can.”

He said landfill attendants will still use discretion in charging customers. For instance, while the wording on the rate fees uses 30-gallon bags as a reference, some people bring in smaller bags.

“If you had 10 little kitchen bags, you may be able to put three of those in a 30-gallon bag. Some people thought as long as you had three containers it didn’t matter how big they were and some were getting by on $3 for three 90-gallon containers,” Lawson said. “I think everybody, after they get over the issue of it going up a bit, will realize they are being treated a little more fair.”

Commercial haulers will still be charged $50 per ton for trash.

“Most of our equipment ranges from $500,000 to $1 million per piece and cell construction is from $2 million to $4 million depending on the type of cell,” Lawson said. “It is an expensive business that takes quite a bit of money to run.”

If you have a question about items not listed, call the Landfill Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at (276) 728-2511.

By Allen Worrell