New Fees Possible for Construction Waste Landfills

Columbus, Ohio -- A new bill is proposing changes to Ohio’s 71 construction and demolition (C&D) debris landfills, such as replacing $3,000 annual license fees with tipping fees of 30 cents per cubic yard.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), the state received approximately 2.8 million tons of out-of-state C&D waste in 2003 — likely the result of Ohio’s less stringent criteria for C&D landfills. Health departments overseeing the landfills, however, had complained they had too little funding to monitor the C&D waste entering the state. Therefore, last week, the state’s energy and environment committee recommended imposing tipping fees to provide up to $3.2 million in extra funding.

Some environmentalists, however, say the bill provides a loophole and allows haulers to dump stray rubbish with C&D waste, as long as the amount is less than 0.2 percent of the load. Such material currently is required to be separated and taken to more strictly monitored solid waste landfills. The bill also specifies that dust in debris loads is acceptable at C&D sites. The OEPA reportedly is concerned that the loose definition of "dust" might enable haulers to dump unrecognizable materials, which have been pulverized, in the landfills. Rep. Shawn Webster, R-Butler County, has sponsored Bill 432, which the House was scheduled to vote on on Wednesday, May 12.