Leon County, Tallahassee won’t use county’s landfill

Published 3:17 pm Friday, September 21, 2012

Both the City of Tallahassee, Fla., and Leon County, Fla., have told Decatur County officials that they will not be customers for the county’s landfill, County Administrator Gary Breedlove said Friday.

Earlier this year, the county entered discussions with the two Florida municipalities, with the possibility that they might begin disposing their waste in the Decatur County Solid Waste Facility, located on U.S. Highway 27 South.

Breedlove and other county officials felt that the county’s landfill might be attractive to the two Florida municipalities, because they had previously been paying $28-per-ton to transfer their garbage to a Campbellton, Fla., landfill approximately 82 miles away. Breedlove said the county’s most-recent offer to the entities was $22-per-ton, slightly less than the $24.50-per-ton rate paid by county citizens and the City of Bainbridge.

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However, the municipalities ultimately decided to continue their current contract with the Campbellton, Fla., landfill.

“We provided them an alternative to their current contract, which gave them some leverage to get their current contract down,” Breedlove said. “Our landfill is closer, but we could not compete with the offer their current contractor gave them.”

Breedlove said the county ultimately had difficulty competing because the Campbellton, Fla., landfill is operated by a large private entity that could afford to “take a loss for a few years” just to keep the contract.

The county had projected that gaining the Florida municipalities as customers would lead to an annual net profit of $3 million to the county’s budget.

Although Breedlove said “the big one” had fallen through, he and Landfill Manager John Simmons are still doing research to see if alternate customers could be found.

“[Simmons] is canvassing the south Georgia community to see what we might be able to do in the way of increased volume,” Breedlove said.