February 7, 2014

Suwannee County: Landfill situation is rubbish

Sends yard trash, construction and demolition debris to Hamilton County.

February 7, 2014 Bryant Thigpen Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak —

Ken Mullins, a contractor acting as general manager for Suwannee Landfill LLC, stood before the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday night asking them to reconsider a recent decision to transport Class III waste to a landfill in Hamilton County. 

For at least five years the county has been delivering their Class III waste - construction and demolition debris, processed tires, carpet, among others - to Suwannee Landfill. At a previous meeting, County Administrator Randy Harris informed the board of a rate increase and a change in waste measurement effective January 1, which influenced the board to consider other opportunities. The board agreed to give Harris the option to send the waste to the facility in Hamilton County.

“I want to ask the board to reconsider their recent decision to ship the Class III waste to Hamilton County,” Mullins said. 

Mullins said the facility has not increased their rate in at least five years. He also stated the county and the city of Live Oak are their two largest accounts.

The change in waste measurement from paying per ton to per cubic yard was to align the county with the same pay scale every other entity was paying. Mullins stated two reasons justifying the change. 

“The county was the only customer that is currently paying by the ton,” Mullins said. “For our type of landfill, cubic yard is the best way to measure how much work it takes to handle it.”

“A couch may not weigh that much, but it takes a lot of effort to crush it,” Mullins said. “From a management standpoint, a per yard price is a better indication of how much work is involved.”

Suwannee Landfill is charging the county $4 per cubic yard, and Mullins reported it was the cheapest rate provided to any of its customers. Local residents who take waste to the landfill pay a rate of $8 per cubic yard for disposal. 

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