For the first time since 2013, the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) hopes to increase their overall budget, requiring more money from the numerous haulers in the area.
According to information drawn from the UCRRA Resolution No. 2479, the overall budget increased by 5.6% from 2019. The budget was sent to the Ulster County Legislature for a review before it is fully implemented.
The role of the UCRRA is a transfer station for the many garbage collection companies in Ulster County. It acts as a temporary depository for solid waste before it is shipped out to Seneca Meadows Landfill in Central New York, according to an article by The Daily Freeman.
“Generally costs go up with time, but the tipping fee increases are very minimal. You’re only taking a 1.9% increase, which only comes up to a penny for any 10 pounds of garbage,” said UCRRA Executive Director Tim Rose. “That’s the only increased cost that we are projecting through the entire agency.”
The increase comes attached to the “tipping fee,” which is the amount of money the UCRRA charges haulers to deliver waste to the facility. Haulers are companies that pick up waste from residencies and businesses and deliver them to transfer stations. Since County Waste recently became the single hauler for New Paltz, it will be up to the company to decide if residents will pay more for trash removal. Rose says all other fees have remained the same, including no increase in recycling fees.
The remaining components of the budget include $4.6 million for hauling, $1.7 million for wages, $689,000 for employee health insurance, $203,00 for vehicle maintenance and $40,000 for personal benefits. Since the UCRRA is not a part of the county, the review from the Ulster County Legislature does not approve nor deny the budget, but may request that money be spent differently if they see an issue. Historically, Rose says the legislature doesn’t recommend much because the UCRRA does not ask for money from them.
“The fee is going to get back to the user somehow,” said Ulster County Legislature Vice Chair David B. Donaldson. However, “Transportation costs should be coming down slightly because of the dropping gas prices.”
Rose says that in mid-October there will be a public hearing to discuss the budget changes and that it will be finalized by the end of the month.