County, city strike landfill deal

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to set a fresh tipping fee at the landfill for the City of Bainbridge, who has agreed to return after two years of dumping its solid waste at a site in Campbellton, Florida.

Decatur County Administrator Alan Thomas estimated the city’s return to generate approximately $300,000 annually with the tipping rate at $23.50 per ton.

“At the end of the day, $23.50 is about equal to what we were paying in Campbellton,” Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby said. “Their tipping rate was cheaper, but with cutting out transportation, we will break even.”

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The change won’t happen overnight, though. A few logistical roadblocks have to be knocked down first, namely ensuring the trucks Bainbridge uses will be able to dump at the county’s facilities.

“At Cambpellton, they have a tipper, and a new tipper is upwards of $350,000, and we don’t have enough traffic to justify that type of expense,” Thomas said.

Hobby said that Seminole Sanitation is already dumping some of the city’s waste at the landfill, yet the majority of it is being dumped at Campbellton.

“Our aim is to be fully transitioned to the landfill by Oct. 1, but we will be ramping that up over the next few months,” Hobby said. “The fact the county was willing to give us a preferential rate of $23.50, where we had paid $24.50, just shows the willingness of the county’s leadership to work with us and find solutions to problems.”

Bainbridge pulled out of tipping their waste at the Decatur County Landfill in April 2014 when they discovered the county was charging less for other customers. After accepting bid proposals and voting to use Waste Management in Campbellton, Bainbridge was suspended from using the county’s landfill facilities.

Bainbridge residents won’t see any changes in how their garbage is handled, but the estimated injection of $300,000 will be helpful to Decatur County.

“I certainly look forward to the city utilizing our landfill services,” Thomas said.