A resolution to go before the Sullivan County Commission would increase the tipping fee from the current $35 a ton to $37.28 a ton.
Accounts and Budgets Director Larry Bailey recently said the county’s solid waste operation has taken a double whammy: higher fuel prices and a substantial increase in commercial garbage haulers saving fuel money by using the transfer stations instead of hauling waste to the landfill in Hawkins County or elsewhere themselves.
“He (Lucian Lawson of the county’s sanitation division) went from three loads a week in Bristol to three loads a day,” Bailey said.
Bailey said the increase might not completely take care of increased costs but would come close and likely would keep the transfer station business steady rather than increasing further.
The resolution, sponsored by Budget Committee Chairman Eddie Williams of Sullivan Gardens and co-sponsored by Commissioner Buddy King of Bristol, says the Solid Waste Department purchased 49,009 gallons of gasoline and diesel in fiscal 2007-08, compared to 39,087 gallons the previous fiscal year.
Bailey said the amount was determined mathematically, factoring in that the most recent fuel purchase prices were about 90 cents per gallon higher than the average $2.58 per gallon paid in 2007-08.
The resolution calls for the increase and for the tipping fee to be reviewed periodically, “and that the appropriate adjustments to cover the additional escalating costs be reported to the Administrative and Budget committees for their approval to cover the rapidly changing fuel costs to the county.”