KING & QUEEN – Starting this month, approximately 45,000 tons of trash will be diverted from King and Queen County’s landfill to another location in Virginia.
The move is expected to save Republic Services thousands in transportation costs but will also cost King and Queen County thousands in revenue.
“We don’t like to see these shifts happen but it’s a business decision at this point,” said Republic Services General Manager Timothy Loveland.
The diversion will occur during the months of November, December, and January and will include waste from the City of Baltimore.
Instead of King and Queen County, the trash will be transported to the landfill in Henrico County on Charles City Road.
Loveland said the decision was made to divert the trash when the contract with the current transportation carrier expired in October.
Republic officials are still reviewing contract bids for a new carrier and had to extend the current contract but at a higher cost.
“Unfortunately the extended period is covered under the higher transportation rates and it’s unreasonable to continue to transport to King and Queen under those higher rates,” Loveland said. “We are not saving anything, but if we kept going to King and Queen we would be paying a lot more.”
If they continued transporting the waste from Baltimore to King and Queen, Republic would have paid approximately $400,000 more under the new transportation costs.
According to County Administrator Tom Swartzwelder, the diversion will cost the county between $115,000 to $173,000 in reduced revenue for the current fiscal year.
As a part of the contract between the county and the landfill, the county receives $3.84 a ton for municipal waste transported to the landfill.
Swartzwelder said the Board of Supervisors is hoping the trend will not continue, but Loveland is not sure.
The diversion is set to expire January 31, 2014, but the possibly does exist that it could last longer.
The route to King and Queen has its disadvantages because it's longer and tougher.
“We need to work with the county to make the King and Queen landfill move competitively and keep the tons coming in,” Loveland said.
He believes one way could be to increase the height of the landfill.
Over the next two months, Republic will be preparing information for the Board outlining the benefits of increasing the height of the landfill in 40-foot increments beyond its current contractual height.
Loveland said the increase is not about space but about cost structure. If the landfill can increase vertically instead of horizontally it will ultimately reduce costs.
“We’ve got to make this landfill more cost competitive or things like this diversion are going to continue to happen,” Lovelandexplained.
Republic Services has been interested in increasing the landfill height for some time now, Loveland said.
Swartzwelder said the Board expects to receive the information on the increase in December.