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Fayette landfill owner must approve fee

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Fayette County will have to convince the owner of the only landfill within its borders to voluntarily pay a fee to officials, according to a state Department of Environmental Protection employee who met with county representatives this week.

Sharon Svitek, recycling and planning coordinator, said counties cannot assess a host-municipality fee unless the landfill operator agrees to it.

Svitek spoke during a meeting to discuss possible revisions to the county's solid waste management plan.

“You can negotiate a fee, but you can't make it a condition,” Svitek told local officials.

In addition, Svitek said counties cannot license waste haulers or charge them registration fees.

The county's 2013 budget includes anticipated revenues of $156,890 from solid-waste landfill fees.

Al Ambrosini, the only commissioner who attended the meeting, said commissioners will have to try to sell the idea of a county-imposed fee on landfills.

“We'll have to strategize on how innovative we can be,” Ambrosini said. “We'll have to turn into remarkable salesmen.”

Svitek said other counties have successfully negotiated fees with their landfills.

For example, she said Allegheny County receives 25 cents per ton of refuse dumped in its landfills.

Advanced Disposal Services, formerly Veolia, is the only landfill in Fayette County, according to information contained on the DEP's website. It is located in German Township.

Dean Mori, site manager for the Fayette landfill, was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com

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