County increases landfill fees

Even an increase in tipping fees at the Moffat County Landfill won't help solve the county's tire-disposal problem.

The Moffat County commissioners approved an increase in landfill tipping fees Tuesday. No members of the public attended the 10 a.m. public hearing about the increase.

The new fee structure increases the cost for dumping a car or truck tire from $3 to $4. But even if the commissioners were to dedicate the entire $4 fee to tire disposal, the county still would need to subsidize the tire-disposal program, Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said.

No money is available to subsidize that program right now, she said.

Meanwhile, the tire pile at the landfill continues to grow.

"It's going to be higher than the stacks on the power plant someday," Commissioner Les Hampton said.

Commissioner Darryl Steele said he had spoken with commercial tire dealers who frequently use the landfill. They suggested the county use tire tipping fees for tire disposal, an idea with which Steele agreed.

But the state already takes $1 from each tire fee.

Plus, the landfill must use some of the money for operating costs, said Linda DeRose, Road and Bridge Department administrative supervisor.

The remaining money isn't nearly enough to fund a disposal program. Options the county has considered include baling or shredding tires. The shredded tires are used to cover the landfill daily. Hampton called this the best option for tire disposal.

But cost estimates to shred the county's junk tires range between $20,000 and $40,000, Raftopoulos said.

Steele had not seen those estimates during his two years on the Board of Commissioners. He'd like to see those numbers and share them with the public, he said.

"It's a lot easier to justify a raise like this if people know how much it costs to take care of that tire," he said.

Bill Mack, Road and Bridge director, said he plans to keep in touch with other Colorado counties to develop tire-disposal partnerships.

Other trash troubles that came up at the meeting included county residents' opposition to trash bins designated for hunters. Someone spray painted over the word "hunter" on a Dumpster north of Craig.

Raftopoulos expressed disappointment at the news, saying the bins were there to service "customers" who come here to hunt.

No problems have occurred with another hunters bin in Maybell's Park.

The town west of Craig has several watchdogs who make sure only hunters use the Dumpster, Steele said.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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