Cost of residential and commercial waste removal set to increase

Published 2:48 pm Thursday, August 25, 2022

Mayor Robyn Tannehill met with the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday to discuss the budget for the new fiscal year—which includes substantial increases in the price of waste removal. 

Superintendent of Sanitation Amberlyn Liles explained what changes will be made by the Environmental Services Department.

“Every 18-wheeler that leaves our facility was $198,” Liles said. “The new price is going to be $350.”

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Although the price of services will fluctuate with fuel prices, the ultimate costs of waste removal in Oxford will rise. Oxford sends its waste to Three Rivers landfill in Pontotoc. Three Rivers, who has not increased their price since 1997, will begin to charge more for their services. 

“We need to plan on that,” said Liles. “Our current fee is $37.25 per ton. My recommendation is $60 per ton.”

The cost is split between the City of Oxford and Lafayette County, based on percentages of the volume of customers. Oxford currently covers around 60% of costs, with the county near 40%. The two entities share operating costs and fuel costs.

An additional $1 per month charged to residential rates would add up to $176,000 per year in revenue. Revenue will be used to cover the cost of the department’s new trucks, fuel costs, and operating costs. 

“Each residential unit will go from $21 per month to $22 per month,” said Liles. “I chose to go against the recommendation of an additional $2 per month because the volume is coming from businesses. More tonnage comes from business than residential.”

Liles recommends a 15% increase on commercial waste costs, up from the originally requested 9%. She notes that the city’s front end loaders often go out of service, and proposes the purchase of an additional loader.

“We are trying to move as fast as we can, but these trucks are packing out three to four times per day and having to wait in line at the landfill,” said Liles. “Leasing a garbage truck is about $30,000 per month, so we would be better off buying our own.”

Residents will see the change in cost reflected on their bill on Nov. 2.