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Southold increases disposal fees for commercial waste

Southold Town approved an increase in scale tip fees for commercial municipal solid waste at a Town Board meeting Tuesday, in anticipation of continued inflation in 2022. 

The town will charge $95 per ton of commercial waste at the Cutchogue Transfer Station, rather than $90, starting Feb. 1. Disposal costs to the town rose about 3.5% in 2021, from $86.87 per ton in 2020 to $89.91. The price increase is released in August every year and raised in tandem with the consumer price index, according to Southold solid waste coordinator Jim Bunchuk.

“That price was retroactive back to the first of the year, so the town had to pay that additional amount, basically as a retroactive charge. The whole calendar year of 2021 was $89.91,” he said. “To avoid having to pay extra after the fact, we actually this year budgeted for a similar increase.”

The increase is not usually so dramatic, he said. The years 2018 to 2019, and 2019 to 2020 saw costs to the town increase about 1.7% per ton while continuing to charge a scale tip fee of $90 per ton.

The town is anticipating a similar CPI increase for 2022 and has started paying $93 per ton with the new year. “That’s what we expect the CPI to reflect … If it’s not that high, we’ll get a credit,” Mr. Bunchuk said. 

He pointed out that Southold charges less than neighboring municipalities. “Our rates are still competitive,” he said.

Lower rates in Southold reflect the town’s contract with a Babylon waste-energy facility rather than exporting off island.