Post Tagged with: "tipping fees"

HCSWA Asking for Fee Increase

January 9, 2017 5:17 AM
HCSWA Asking for Fee Increase

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) will ask Horry County Council to approve an increase in tipping fees at the authority’s Hwy 90 landfill site.

The increase will be part of the HCSWA budget submission to council for the coming fiscal year which begins July 1, 2017.

The requested increase results from a Cost of Service and Rate Study recently completed for the HCSWA by independent consultant HDR Engineering.

According to that study, HCSWA has one of the lowest tipping fees in the state for municipal solid waste (MSW). The Hwy 90 landfill currently charges $29 per ton for MSW while the average MSW tipping fee at public and private landfills around the state is $42.71 per ton.

The HCSWA tipping fee has not increased in 18 years.

According to the HDR study, if the tipping fee at the Hwy 90 landfill does not increase, by 2024 the HCSWA will experience a cumulative budget deficit of over $32 million.

This calculation is based on a test year of 2016, with projected revenues and expenses at the HCSWA for years 2017 through 2024 inclusive.

What is interesting to note is the HCSWA had excess revenue of $4.093 million in 2016 with $8.46 million in tipping fee revenue against a revenue requirement of $4.369 million for the authority to break even.

In 2017, the excess revenue required jumps to $11.397 million against tipping fee revenue of $8.624 for a deficit of $2.77 million. The projected deficit increases year by year from that point.

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Revenues, Expenses and the HCSWA Budget

April 18, 2016 6:30 AM
Revenues, Expenses and the HCSWA Budget

The HCSWA budget is in its final preparations before being included in the overall Horry County Government budget as it is every year.

While the Horry County Solid Waste Authority budget has been included as a section of the county budget since its inception in the early 1990’s, Horry County Council has paid little to no attention to it when approving its annual fiscal year budget.

This year is different. Some council members are actually paying attention to the HCSWA budget.

That is a good thing. It was prompted by the initial request of the HCSWA for an increase in tipping fees at the county Hwy 90 landfill.

Tipping fees are the cost, ultimately paid by the citizens of the county, of burying waste in the ground.

To its credit, the HCSWA has essentially charged the same tipping fee, with some minor variations, since 1992. To its detriment, for many of those years, the tipping fee charged to the citizens of the county was too high.

I remember one former executive director of the HCSWA commenting over a decade ago that so much money (from tipping fees) was coming into the authority coffers, it didn’t know what to do with it all.

A lot of the excess revenue got wasted on purchases of land that was not needed, public relations campaigns, lobbying fees, attorney fees, even bugs that theoretically would extend the life of the landfill, but, in fact, died.

While some of this sounds funny, millions upon millions of public dollars were wasted by a succession of HCSWA boards and the indifference of county council.

Now, the HCSWA is in somewhat of a cash crunch, somewhere between $500k-$1,000k projected shortfall in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016.

The first inclination of the HCSWA staff and board was to raise tipping fees. County council said “NO”.

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HCSWA Board Studies Tipping Fee Increase

March 2, 2016 5:28 AM
HCSWA Board Studies Tipping Fee Increase

During a pre-budget meeting last week, the HCSWA board directed staff to come up with a proposal for raising tipping fees for municipal solid waste.

The increase is necessitated by increasing costs of running the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, especially delays in procuring equipment and making other improvements on the landfill site.

According to information provided at the meeting, the HCSWA preliminary budget for FY 2016-17 shows a deficit of $1,110,686. The HCSWA consultant engineer has also recommended an additional $1.25 per ton be added to reserve funds for future closure and post closure costs. The authority currently puts aside $6.25 per ton toward those future costs.

Additionally, several sources said the vertical expansion to the landfill, which will increase the life of the landfill until approximately 2035, is costing more than initially expected.

Each $1 increase in tipping fees produces approximately $250,000 in revenue for the authority. Therefore, an increase of from $4-$6 per ton in the MSW tipping fee will be studied.

The current tipping fee for MSW is $29.50 per ton of which $2.25 per ton goes to Horry County government for the county wide 911 communications system.

In 1995, the HCSWA was charging $30 per ton with no money going to county government, according to authority staff.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable for an increase in tipping fee to be needed at this time.

According to HCSWA staff, the statewide average tipping fee for MSW is $35 per ton.

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