EREF releases analysis on national landfill tipping fees for 2020

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) released its “Analysis of MSW Landfill Tipping Fees: 2020” report Jan. 29 based on information from 439 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in the U.S.

According to the report:

  • 12 percent were large (i.e., accepting more than 390,000 tons per year);
  • 46 percent were medium (i.e., accepting between 390,000 and 65,000 tons per year); and
  • 42 percent were small (i.e., accepting less than 65,000 tons per year).

Of the landfills analyzed, the small landfills averaged 26,480 tons of incoming waste per year, medium landfills averaged 166,516 incoming tons per year, and large landfills averaged 809,455 incoming tons per year.

Small landfills accounted for the highest tipping fees for MSW ($55.72 per ton) compared with medium landfills ($50.87 per ton) and large landfills ($53.43 per ton). The average MSW tipping fee across the country was $53.72 per ton, which was a 3 percent decrease from 2019, when the average was $55.36 per ton.

Just as MSW tip fees fluctuated depending on the size of the landfill, they also fluctuated based on where the facility was located.

  • The average fee in the Pacific region was $72.03. This included Alaska ($142.33), Arizona ($44.89), California ($58.48), Hawaii ($114.33), Idaho ($59.02), Nevada ($39.90), Oregon ($71.53) and Washington ($95.99).
  • The average fee in the Northeast region was $68.69. This included Connecticut (no active landfills in state), Delaware ($85), Maine ($75.21), Maryland ($66.73), Massachusetts (not reported), New Hampshire ($74.34), New Jersey ($78.80), New York ($71.71), Pennsylvania ($73.45), Rhode Island ($115), Vermont ($101.95), Virginia ($53.43) and West Virginia ($54.66).
  • The average fee in the Mountains/Plains region was $47.83. This included Colorado ($58.42), Montana ($32.06), North Dakota ($48), South Dakota ($51.22), Utah ($33.80) and Wyoming ($57.64).
  • The average fee in the Midwest region was $47.85. This included Illinois ($51.71), Indiana ($36.27), Iowa ($47.07), Kansas ($42.79), Michigan ($42.77), Minnesota ($57.78), Missouri ($67.91), Nebraska ($41.47), Ohio ($45.39) and Wisconsin ($61).
  • The average fee in the Southeast region was $46.26. This included Alabama ($32.93), Florida ($56.51), Georgia ($47.88), Kentucky ($36.32), Mississippi ($30.36), North Carolina ($45.97), South Carolina ($45.91) and Tennessee ($51.53).
  • The average fee in the South Central region was $39.66. This included Arkansas ($30.53), Louisiana ($37.53), New Mexico ($38.20), Oklahoma ($44.76) and Texas ($42.22).

In addition to collecting MSW tip fee data, EREF also collected information relating to construction and demolition (C&D) wastes deposited at MSW landfills.

According to EREF, C&D waste is accepted at MSW landfills in 41 states and comprises roughly 12 percent of the landfilled stream. Of the 437 landfills surveyed, 277 had a specified gate rate for C&D materials, though the difference was largely negligible on average. The national average tip fee for C&D waste was $52.67. Fifty-eight percent of landfills set the same tip fees for MSW and C&D waste, C&D tip fees were lower than MSW at 23 percent of sites, and C&D tip fees were higher than MSW at 19 percent of the landfills.

In analyzing the fees, the report’s authors state, “A regression analysis on all tip fees collected showed a limited relationship between tip fees and population density, suggesting that the wide variation in fees is not necessarily associated with population density.”

W.L. French buys Massachusetts landfill

North Billerica, Massachusetts-based W. L. French Excavating Corp. has announced its acquisition of a landfill located in Winchendon, Massachusetts. The Winchendon Landfill, says the firm, is situated on a 14-acre portion of a larger 88-acre property.

W. L. French, which describes itself as a site excavation and soil management firm, says it will perform closure activities on the landfill in the future, including installing a permanent cap. Prior to the capping project, the site had been permitted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to accept up to 800,000 tons of COMM-97 Unlined Landfill grading and shaping materials.

Limited options are available in Massachusetts to dispose of COMM-97 unlined landfill materials, says W.L. French, and many companies ship materials out of state to do so. “The opening of the Winchendon Landfill will help to better service the environmental needs of contractors and developers from across the state, particularly those located in the greater Boston area,” states the company.

“W. L. French has established itself as a leader in our region’s soil and waste disposal industry,” says W. L. French President Bill French Jr. “We are looking forward to expanding our capabilities and services with this acquisition. This also addresses the immediate need our state faces in regard to disposal options for unlined soils generated from large, urban excavations.”

The Winchendon Landfill began accepting materials in early January 2021, with hours of operation set as Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

W. L. French also works in partnership with Dudley, Massachusetts-based Rampco Construction Co. to help operate two soil reclamation facilities in the Bay State: Fish Road Reclamation Project and Dudley Reclamation Project, which are both located in Dudley.