Update on waste service charge increase

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

After Waste Management recently increased their charge to bring waste to Central Landfill in Millard from $22.50 to $33 per ton, Picayune has begun to feel the effects.

Residents that live within the city limits have had to pay an additional $1.50 per month for their waste removal.

So far, city officials have received some complaints concerning the apparently sudden price increase.

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“The complaints we have received have been about Waste Management and how they have handled the situation,” said Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero.

The city currently employs Progressive Waste Solutions to collect the waste within city limits and deliver it to the Waste Management facility.

Waste Management and the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors unanimously amended the disposal agreement at the board meeting Aug. 19, 2015, according to a press release from Waste Management.

“Due to cost increases over that [20-year] period associated with this landfill operation, new environmental regulations, and the limited service area available, the prospect was to either increase disposal rates or close Central Landfill,” said René Faucheux, the senior manager of government and community affairs for Waste Management Gulf Coast, in the release.

“We don’t’ support the increases,” said Pinero. “This is a county-wide issue and [Waste Management] should be more forthcoming with information when they decide to do these things.”

Residents of Pearl River County are still able to dispose of up to four, 50-gallon bags of waste per week for free at the Central Landfill, said Faucheux.

“The citizens are really disappointed that Waste Management chose to do this,” said Pinero.

Private waste removal companies have also been feeling the effects of the recent price increase.

“It has put a toll on us, but we did not pass it on to our customers. I haven’t raised their rates,” said Carol Gledhill, owner of C&H Waste II.

Residents of Pearl River County who live outside city limits are responsible for their own waste removal. Private companies, like C&H Waste II, are often hired by those residents for curbside waste removal.

“A lot of customers think we take it there for free, but we are charged by the ton,” said Gledhill, who has been operating C&H for over 18 years.

These private companies are charged the same $33 per ton as the city-contracted Progressive Waste Solutions collection company.

“Fuel is starting to go back up and it’s hard, but we don’t want to pass that on to our customers, but at some point in time, we have to,” said Gledhill. “It was a heck of an increase. We don’t feel like it’s right.”

“We are going to continue to look at our options and see if there are other potential places to take our waste,” said Pinero. “At the moment we have not been able to identify any.”

Waste Management is currently planning to build a new cell in the Central Landfill by summer 2017.  The new cell will be four to five acres and will cost around $1.5 million to construct, said Faucheux.

Central Landfill currently has 14 cells. Based on current conditions, Faucheux estimated another cell will be needed in five years.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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