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County will haul trash to a different landfill location

Will cost less to haul to a closer landfill

Staff writer

After seven years, Marion County Commission decided Tuesday that it will no longer take its trash to Hamm Quarry after the first of the year.

The county had operated on a year-to-year solid waste contract with the landfill at Perry, near Topeka, with a 90-day notice required if the county was not going to renew the contract for the coming year.

Tuesday was the last possible day for the commission to decide whether to continue with Hamm Quarry or haul to a closer location.

Rollin Schmidt, county transfer station manager, presented options to the commission regarding continuing with Hamm Quarry or considering a closer landfill like Saline Municipal Landfill near Salina and Butler County Landfill near El Dorado.

Currently, the county pays Hamm Quarry $19.71 per ton which will increase three percent Jan. 1, 2009, as it has the past several years. Hamm Quarry also charges a fuel surcharge of $1.19 per ton. It is 147.5 miles each way to the landfill. The county pays Robinson Trucking of Florence $2.10 per loaded mile plus a fuel surcharge.

According to Schmidt’s calculations, the county paid a total of $36,290 in August to Hamm Quarry and Robinson Trucking.

Saline Municipal Landfill made an offer of $30 per ton and if the county does a five-year contract, the price will be $29 per ton. However, SML would have the option of increasing the tonnage rate each year with no limit. Also, if Marion County’s solid waste tonnage is less than 5,000 tons per year during the five-year contract time period, the county would have to pay a penalty for all five years.

The distance to the Saline County landfill would be 65.5 miles one way for an estimated cost per month of $28,219.

The original verbal offer from Butler County Landfill was $31.50 per ton at a distance of 48 miles one way and added up to approximately $29,481 per month.

The cost savings to the county of going to a closer landfill could be more than $80,000.

However, when Schmidt called the Butler County Landfill manager to verify some information, a different verbal offer was put on the table. BCL no longer agreed to a five-year contract and the landfill manager wasn’t sure if the Butler County Commission would be agreeable to a three-year contract.

The concern expressed by both Saline County and Butler County was wanting to charge Marion County more than their residents are charged. Marion County Commission members said they could understand that concern. They would be of the same opinion if in that position.

It was with much discussion and contemplation before the commission decided to end the contract with Hamm Quarry and negotiate a new contract that would begin Jan. 1, 2009, with either Saline County or Butler County.

The commission determined that the money saved in fuel, truck maintenance if the county was to purchase its own truck, and time transporting solid waste to a closer location definitely outweighed the current arrangement of hauling refuse nearly 300 miles per day.

A meeting will be set between the commissions at a later date to determine the best arrangement.

Last modified Oct. 1, 2008

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