Trash is getting more expensive, but in Myrtle Beach, residents may not have to send more money to the landfill.
As the Solid Waste Authority considers different options to raise the fees it charges for dumping garbage, Myrtle Beach plans to absorb that cost. City staff said Thursday that if garbage removal costs increase 53 percent, it could cost the city about $420,000. That raise comes from both a higher volume from more residents (landfill fees are calculated by the ton), and from the possible rate increase.
Michelle Shumpert, a budget director for the city, said Myrtle Beach should be able to cover rate increases entirely through increased revenue from residential growth, container fees instituted in last year’s budget and an additional $25,000 from the city’s hospitality fee funds. From August to December, the container fees earned the city a net $61,000.
“Between those three things, it looks like we are in a position that we could manage that tipping fee increase … without raising any other fees for the coming fiscal year,” she told city council.
The rate increase covered by the city would amount to about $1.60 per month per residential customer. Commercial entities typically use private trash collectors in Myrtle Beach, Shumpert said.
Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat suggested taking measures to put less material in the landfill and extend its life. The landfill is projected to close in 2043.
“Garbage is going to be more and more expensive to handle every year, so we really have to look at more recycling efforts,” she said.
Councilman Wayne Gray said the recycling facility the city uses does not pay for itself, however. Officials are toying with ways to make trash sorting more efficient, such as banning plastic bags or styrofoam.
The Solid Waste Authority will vote Jan. 24 on three potential rate increase options, which could raise tipping fees gradually or in a lump sum from $14 to $20 a ton.