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New legislation ups landfill fees

RALEIGH -- Last week state lawmakers passed legislation that would make it tougher for new landfills to be built in North Carolina. Many people are happy about the environmental benefits of the measure that now awaits Gov. Easley's signature to become law. But those benefits could eventually cost you more money. A recent bill passed by the general assembly will implement state-wide landfill laws. One section of the bill will impose a $2 per ton surcharge on dumping in landfills beginning July 1 of next year. Sen. Julia Boseman said, "The $2 tip fee is going to clean up over 700 orphan landfills that we have in North Carolina. These are landfills that were constructed prior to 1983 that don't have liners." John Hubbard works for New Hanover County's environmental management. He says about half of the county's annual waste goes to the landfill. The new surcharge will tack on more than $300,000 a year. Hubbard said, "The residents will have to pay, that fee will be passed on, first we'd have to see if it could be absorbed with the cost of running our facilities next year." As for just how much each household will pay that's yet to be determined. Hubbard said, "It'll be the disposal cost for anybody who hauls waste to these facilities. The haulers will have to determine if they can absorb it or tack it on to their bills to the residents." "This is going to help clean up our environment and do what we can to protect ourselves from these old landfills," Sen. Boseman said. Sen. R.C. Soles and Rep. Bonner Stiller said they are very pleased with the new landfill laws.

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