Delaware County commissioners have again waived their portion of tipping fees for the Keep Delaware County Beautiful program.
“The health department runs several litter control campaigns that include river sweeps, as well as some other programs,” said Tiffany Jenkins, the county’s director of environmental services, at commissioners’ Monday meeting. “Annually, the commissioners have waived our 7 percent surcharge that we receive for all waste that’s turned in at the transfer station for the tipping fees.”
The resolution in support of the program states that commissioners own the Delaware County Solid Waste Transfer Station at 888 U.S. 42. Tipping fees are the fees collected at the station from anyone who wants to leave trash there.
“Currently, all of those fees go to our contractor (Central Ohio Contractors) who runs it, but we tack a 7 percent surcharge on top of that,” Jenkins said. “That’s the revenue the county gets for that facility.”
Keep Delaware County Beautiful promotes recycling and litter prevention. It hosts several volunteer events annually, including the “Clean Your Block Party” for homeowners’ associations; the Great American Cleanup (March 1-June 30); Olentangy Watershed Clean Up (Aug. 13); and the Scioto River Sweep (Sept. 24). Between 300 and 500 people volunteer annually.
The program is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., and part of the Delaware General Health District.
Jenifer Way-Young, program coordinator, said the volunteer groups can also work with the contractor to get reduced rates on the tipping fees, but the costs can still add up.
“My goal is 10 tons,” Way-Young said. “Last fall at the Scioto River cleanup, we picked up one ton in one mile of river-way. I provide them with the bags, gloves and other cleanup supplies.”
“How much tipping fees are we waiving? Is it a thousand dollars or a million dollars?” asked Jeff Benton, the newest commissioner. “I can’t vote unless I have some idea of what we’re waiving.”
“I would say it’s closer to the thousand-dollar range, or less,” Jenkins said. “At the transfer station, we only gain $160,000 a year, and that’s for everything that’s dumped there, like 4,000 tons a month.”
Before the commission’s unanimous vote, Commissioner Gary Merrell said: “I know I’m living in a utopia when I say this but, if everyone would take responsibility for their trash, we wouldn’t need to do this program. In a perfect world, if everyone did what they should do, this would be unnecessary.”
For more information, visit www.delawarehealth.org
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.