North Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Things did not go exactly as planned for the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) Wednesday, but the Board of Directors voted to increase its budget income for 2019 by raising tipping fees. Trash haulers and residents pay the tipping fees to have their trash processed and converted to electricity by OCRRA.
The OCRRA staff proposed to its Board of Directors that it up tipping fees by eight percent, or $7 more per ton. However the board voted to raise the tipping fee by only $6 per ton.
Although paying more money in fees seems like a negative consequence, the staff says the increase is intended to have benefits.
“It benefits the operations and services that OCRRA provides to the community,” said Kristen Lawton, OCRRA public information officer. “It isn’t going directly to residents in our community, but more than likely that fee will be in some fashion passed along to them by their hauler, by their municipality, depending on how their collections system is charged.”
OCRRA is a public benefit corporation that provides services to all residents of Onondaga County free of charge (excluding residents of Skaneateles) including burning local garbage, recycling, and shredding. OCCRA does not receive money from taxes. The program is based on its operations, which includes charging the community tipping fees.
The staff proposed an increase budget in response to the present recycling crisis occurring throughout the world. The new tipping fees are intended to makeup for the cost OCRRA will have to pay in recycling fees next year.
“It’s costing us a lot more to process our communities’ recyclables than it ever has in the past,” Lawton said. As a consequence, we want to continue recycling because that’s part of our mission here, but we also need to figure out how to make it sustainable, how do we fund this, how do we keep recycling here in our community.
“One of the ways we are looking at is to raise that tipping fee to offset that recycling cost,” Lawton said
Prior to the vote, OCRRA Board Chair John Copanas said they were going to try to keep the tipping fees as low as possible.