In a recent Herald Mail.com article, Washington County is considering raising landfill fees, instituting a recycling fee and eliminating recycling drop-boxes from within the city of Hagerstown for the FY 2012 budget.
The proposed measures are an attempt to close a projected Department of Solid Waste budget shortfall and to promote self-sufficiency in a department in which the landfill-permit and recycling programs currently operate at a loss, Clifford J. Engle, the county’s director of solid waste, told the Washington County Commissioners.
To reduce the cost of the recycling program, Engle recommended removing recycling drop-boxes from within the city, which offers its own curbside recycling program, and moving the other drop-boxes inside municipal solid-waste facilities, where they can be monitored for proper use.
In addition, he suggested charging a recycling fee of between $8 and $13 a year per household outside of the municipalities to cover recycling program costs instead of forcing landfill users to subsidize those costs.
Proposed fee hikes included a $5-per-year increase for regular landfill permits, a $2-per-ton increase to the solid-waste tipping fee and a $2 increase to the minimum scale fee, among other increases.
The county budget proposal also includes recommendations for no cost of living or merit increases for county employees as well as a 10% increase in the amount employees pay for their health insurance. The county residents will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed budget in the coming weeks and the county commissioners will act on May 1, 2011 to adopt the FY 2012 budget.