An attorney representing Johnson City is looking into why Houston-based Waste Management raised its minimum dumping fee at Iris Glen Environmental Landfill on Sept. 1 from a minimum of one-half ton and a roughly $15 fee to a two-ton, $83 minimum.
Commissioner Jane Myron called the Johnson City Press late Thursday, saying she’d received calls from several residents asking about the huge increase. The Press also received several calls from customers.
Public Works Director Phil Pindzola, who confirmed the rate change, said there is cause for concern, because not only is the change causing a back-up at the landfill, it also is causing Johnson City residents to dump materials into commercial trash bins that has upset those paying for their exclusive use.
“We are looking into whether they have the right to raise the rates for Johnson City customers,” Pindzola said. “There is a certain structure for our residents because we are the ones with the host site.”
The city owns the landfill, but Waste Management handles its operation.
“When I go to Iris Glen, it’s usually $15-$18, said Michael Ray, who towed his utility trailer to the site Thursday. “I headed up there and pulled onto the scale. A lady — who was very nice — said they’d had a price increase and that my charge was $83. This is the first knowledge I’ve had of it.”
The Press placed telephone calls to the company’s headquarters to inquire about the rate change. Company officials were not immediately available to answer questions.
“I can understand that it takes a great deal of effort for them (Waste Management) to deal with smaller customers,” Pindzola said. “But this is causing some problems for our Solid Waste Division. People are starting to overload Dumpsters and containers. Right now we’ll have to wait on the attorneys’ opinion.”
The number for billing questions at Iris Glen is 926-8375.