The city has agreed to dump its trash only at the Rodefeld landfill.
Madison and Dane County officials have negotiated a new tipping fee that will phase in over the next three years and allow the county to move ahead with expansion of the Rodefeld landfill.
The county had proposed hiking the city's tipping fee by 25% next year, up from $40 to $50 a ton. Since the city dumps about 48,000 tons of waste there every year, it would have had to come up with an extra half million in the 2014 budget to pay for garbage disposal.
The city balked and decided it would look for other places to dump its trash. But without a steady stream of garbage from the city, the county wouldn't be able to afford the planned $20 million expansion of its landfill -- necessary largely because of all the trash Madison generates.
Josh Wescott, chief of staff for county executive Joe Parisi, says the two governments negotiated a deal in the past few weeks. The tipping fee increase will be phased in over the next three years, rising to $43.50 a ton Jan. 1, then to $46.50 July 1; then to $48.50 Jan. 1, 2015; and finally, to $50 a ton Jan. 1, 2016.
In exchange, the city has agreed to dump its trash only at the Rodefeld landfill, Wescott says. "That really creates the operating dollars and the certainty to allow the expansion to go ahead," he says. "If Madison wanted to pursue other options, we'd have to have a discussion about whether to proceed with expanding the landfill.”
As a result of the negotiations, Wescott adds, "We're proceeding full speed ahead with permits with [the Department of Natural Resources] to expand."
The agreement does not preclude Madison from building a food waste digester, which would significantly lower the amount of trash it sends to the landfill, Wescott says.
Chris Kelley, superintendent of Madison streets division, says the city is pleased with the new rates and thinks the deal is fair to the county. "It keeps them in business as well."
The new rates are contingent on approval by the Dane County Board of Supervisors in its budget.