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New fees for GCTS will take effect in January
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BRODHEAD - It'll cost you more to dump your trash and junk at Green County's transfer station next year - twice as much in some cases.

The county's Solid Waste Management Board tasked itself Thursday with increasing disposal fees for just about everything that can be dropped off at the transfer station west of Brodhead. New prices go into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

The board kept rates and fees for municipalities that have signed partnership agreements below those of non-contracted municipalities.

"Membership has to have some privileges," said Brooke Bauman, a SWM board member and President of the Monroe Common Council.

The increased fees come mostly at the request of the City of Monroe, whose city administrator, Phil Rath, has been asking the station for a more transparent billing procedure that would ease city budget planning.

Currently, transfer station partners pay all excess expenditures not covered by tipping fees and other revenue streams. Each municipal partner pays a portion of the excess expenses relative to its portion of all the trash received by the station each month. Some months, there may be a credit. Most months, there's not.

But Rath also sees raising disposal prices as a way to distribute more of the costs to the individual persons and private haulers who actually use the station, rather than to the taxpayers through tax levies.

Some SWM board members are concerned that, if prices become too high, individuals will turn to dumping trash along the roads and that private haulers, if they can't pass the cost along to their customers, will bypass the station. Less trash coming in means higher costs per ton for handling it for the station and its members.

The one major item that board members are waiting to adjust is the tipping fee, the cost per ton of normal trash, mostly residential. They will adjust that fee based on the results of the new fees at Janesville's landfill, where GCTS transports its trash. GCTS Manager Randy Thompson said the county might get a better rate per ton from Janesville, but Janesville will want a longer commitment, because it, too, needs a reliable, large volume of trash to lower its cost per ton to landfill it. Thompson meets with Janesville later this month.

Janesville currently charges Green County $35 per ton to unload its garbage there. Green County is charging a tipping fee of $45 per ton for members, $47 per ton for commercial non-members and $52 per ton for residential non-members.

SWM board chairman Nate Klassy said the City of Monroe has a line item amount for the transfer station on its first-draft 2015 and 2016 budgets.

Rath reported Friday he included an estimated $205,000 for GCTS professional services in the 2015 budget: $82,000 for on-going maintenance of Green County's two closed landfills, $83,000 for tipping fees, and $40,000 for additional transfer station costs.

Thompson and the board estimates the transfer station needs an additional trash volume of 11,000 tons per year to "break even."

Bauman said the city is looking at putting flow control language into its trash hauler licenses, which would require all trash picked up in the city to be taken to the county transfer station. The new licenses would begin about mid-2015.

Klassy believes if Monroe institutes flow control, other municipalities will follow suit.