The way in which haulers are charged for dumping trash at the regional landfill near Fort Dodge may be changed in a move that could result in residents eventually paying more to get their garbage picked up.
The North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency has for years charged $9 per cubic yard of trash dumped at the landfill on Gypsum Hollow Road.
Cindy Turkle, the agency's interim director, has recommended charging a fee for each ton of waste.
She told the agency's executive committee Tuesday evening that she doesn't know of any other landfill that charges by the cubic yard.
She added that heavy material takes up more space in the landfill, and thus should cost more to dispose of.
''It's more equitable,'' she said.
Turkle said if a city or private hauler can pay a fee based on tonnage with its current charges for service, residents likely won't be affected by the change. But if the current charges can't cover the new fee structure, residents may see their rates go up, she said.
Humboldt County Supervisor Harlan Hansen, a member of the executive committee, recommended that a fee of $33 per ton be submitted for approval by the agency's full board of directors.
Hansen's proposal was approved on a 5-2 vote, with Joe Gray, of Manson, and Greg Koch, the Fort Dodge public works director, voting no.
''We just started our 2013-2014 fiscal year budget,'' Koch said after the meeting. ''We have a new recycling program coming and we have $1.3 million in expenditures to support that. Right now, with that project going on I think it's the wrong time to support a new rate structure.''
The new recycling program he referred to would enable resident to toss all their glass, paper, plastic and other materials into one container without sorting the items. Koch said he believes the ease of that new single stream recycling method will encourage more people to participate and thus reduce the amount of material going to the landfill.
That new recycling system will likely start early next year.
Koch said he didn't know how the proposed system of charging by the ton would affect the $14.50 monthly fee for Fort Dodge sanitation customers.
The proposal approved Tuesday now goes to the agency's board of directors for final action. A date for the board meeting hasn't been announced.
''This is something we have to do to keep the DNR happy, in part, and be fair to everyone,'' Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell, a member of the executive committee, said of the proposal. He was referring to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.