Fuel Prices Impact Small Waste Management Districts in Northern Arkansas

BERRYVILLE, Ark. (KY3) – With fuel prices rising rapidly, the Carroll County Solid Waste District (CCSW) says it is significantly overspending its monthly fuel budget.

In April, the waste management provider exceeded the monthly fuel budget by more than $10,000. CCSW is working with cities to implement a fuel surcharge based on monthly fuel spend. This would either become the burden of the city through a surcharge, or the district would be forced to issue rate increases to customers.

“The last time prices went up around that was around 2008, 2009, 2010,” said CCSW executive director George Boatright. “The price of fuel is hurting us right now. With the price of fuel, we’re paying about $4.61/gallon.

Data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that inflation may be slowing. Prices rose 8.3% in April from a year ago and 0.3% in March.

“It’s been a challenge, and we’ve been able to manage everything except the price of fuel,” said Berryville Mayor and CCSW Chairman Tim McKinney. “We want to provide quality solid waste and recycling services at a reasonable price. This supplement therefore allows us to stay where we are and maintain the level of service that we want to offer our customers. »

With current fuel prices, CCSW expects the average customer to see their bill increase by approximately 60 cents.

“Well, I can understand why they do that with our economy and gas prices,” said Sheila Taylor, who lives in the county. “But being on disability and on a fixed income, I would prefer not to have an additional surcharge.”

Taylor says you have no choice but to pay or expect “the trash to pile up and cause more trouble.”

“We’re a nonprofit, but we need to keep pace with equipment and employee raises,” Boatright said. “But we are doing everything we can to keep our costs as low as possible.”

Once in effect, CCWS officials believe the surcharge is likely to remain.

“In the past we’ve tried to budget for that, and in some years I’ll admit we probably made money because we budgeted less,” McKinney said. “But just the volatility of it, I think that’s something that’s here to stay.”

CCWS anticipates the surcharge next month, barring any unforeseen issues.

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