Tire processing fees for the county are proposed to increase

In February of 2013, the Butler County landfill entered into an agreement with B&D Tire of Augusta for the disposal of tires. After a year of service, the agreement again came before the Butler County Commission with several pricing changes on Tuesday morning.
“It changed the way we manage tires at the landfill,” began Public Works Director Darryl Lutz. “We used to collect tires and have a vendor come in and pick them up for recycling. That method cost quite a bit of money. Since this new agreement has begun, we have a service that comes to the landfill and cuts up the tires for use in the landfill. They’ve come back to us and requested an opportunity to go in and adjust the fees in the agreement. The content of the agreement is identical.”
The tire processing fees for the county are proposed to increase.
“The tire processing fee for a class A tire will go from $1 to $1.25,” explained Lutz. “Small implement tires will go from $1 to $3, Class C and D used tires used to be $5 each and now the C class tire is going to $7 while the D class tire will be $10. Those are the really large tires. They’re so large they will not fit in the machine and they have to be cut by hand with a saw.”
Despite the change in the agreement, the county landfill’s charge to citizens for tires will not be affected.
“We currently charge $2 a piece for class A tires,” said Lutz. “If it’s an oversized pickup tire, we charge $8. Our average revenue is $3 per tire. The cost impact will only be about $1,800 a year, but we’re making $10,000 to $15,000 a year with this program. The landfill currently takes in an average of 6,000 tires a year.”
“Even at the lowest end here on tires from group A, it’s a 25 percent increase in fees,” said Commissioner Ed Myers. “You’re having altogether a 30 percent increase in cost. To me, that makes me sit up and take notice. If something cost me $1 last year and $1.30 this year, it’s inflation for that particular item. I guess, I’m questioning whether this much of an inrease is really a wise thing to do even though it seems easy to do.”
In the year since the agreement was established, the vendor has gained experience in the process with the tires.
“It really boils down to an understanding of how much time and effort processing these tires takes,” said Lutz. “Most of our tires are small car and pickup tires.”
“You’ve got to consider the fact that he’s only done this one year and he had no idea what it was going to cost him to cut them up when he started,” added Commissioner Jeff Masterson.
“We were paying $15,000 a year,” said Lutz. “He (the vendor) wants to make just enough money to keep this going and to pay overhead costs. We’ve got people that could come in and recycle the tires and pick them up, but it costs far more than this program to just come out and set up the equipment. For him, this isn’t really a money making deal.”
“I know this 30 percent seems steep, but if this small businessman believes he has to make a few bucks just to make this worth his time, I think it’s a good thing,” said Masterson.
Not all of the commissioners were easily convinced.
“I liked the idea of the guy that came in and picked up the tires and hauled them off so we didn’t have to put them in the landfill, but it was too expensive,” said Commission Chair Mike Wheeler.
“Why do we want these tires in our landfill?” asked Commissioner Peggy Palmer.
“We’re basically just looking at the cost control,” said Lutz. “We’re trying to bring down our operating costs any way we can. When we were using the other service, we were upside down as far as revenues versus costs. We got our revenues in line, not we’re working to find a way to sustain our costs.”
Commissioner Dan Woydziak moved to approve the new agreement with B&D Tire of Augusta. The motion was carried 5-0.