LETTER: Tipping Fees for MSW Do Nothing to Address Rising Cost of Waste Disposal

Open Letter to RTM from Myra Klockenbrink, Cos Cob

On Monday May 11 you will be asked to vote on whether to adopt tipping fees on residential and commercial waste in Greenwich. As you weigh your decision, please consider the following:

• One hundred percent of haulers have said they would pass tip fees to customers. Expect an $11-15/month increase in your trash collection bill.

• Sixty-six percent of CT’s towns do not have residential tipping fees according to a DEEP study. If Greenwich adopts tipping fees, we will be one of a minority of CT’s municipalities that impose tipping fees on residential waste.

• Tipping fees will leave a legacy of higher costs year-to-year because they do nothing to address the rising cost of waste disposal. MIRA, central CT’s main incinerator, plans to increase tip fees from $93/ton to $145/ton by 2027 to pay for needed repairs. When Peekskill landfill closes in a few short years increased demand for access to alternative landfills will drive prices up even more.

• Adding insult to COVID-19 injury, tipping fees may further reduce competition in the hauling market in Greenwich. The large carrying costs of tipping fees could drive smaller haulers out of business, allowing the larger haulers to set the market price.

• Tipping fees will not prevent haulers from bringing out-of-town trash to Holly Hill unless our tipping fees are significantly higher than those of neighboring towns. At $112/ton, our tipping fees are similar to neighboring towns, giving haulers no reason to change their current routes. The more we pay to tip the more we pay to haul.

• Residents will have the added cost of a $25 permit to drop waste at Holly Hill, even if they only go once a year. This fee could be raised at any time and will discourage participation in the new food scrap recycling program set to begin this month.

• Implementation of tipping fees will begin on July 1, slamming hard-hit residents and businesses with an additional cost during the COVID-19 crisis.

Myra Klockenbrink, Cos Cob