Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Raymond E. Graham, Cedar Run District Supervisor

December 11, 2008


Staff Lead:


Mike Dorsey, Director

Environmental Services


Update on Solid Waste Programs

Topic Description:


Lower solid waste tonnage coupled with dramatically falling prices for recycled commodities during the past month has resulted in significantly lower revenue projections within the Landfill Enterprise Fund.   Many recycling markets have recently declined to the point that materials can no longer be economically collected, hauled and processed.  Certain baled materials cannot be sold at all and are being stockpiled at the present time (steel cans, plastic bottles-PETE) which is allowed by Virginia’s solid waste regulations for up to 1 year.   It’s unknown how long the recent changes in the recycling markets (below) will continue:

November Commodity Prices


FY 2008

Avg. Price per Ton


Price per Ton

Disposal Cost

# Tons @ $45/Ton


$76 avg ($110 baled, $70 – loose)

$25 avg ($35 baled, $15 loose)


















Steel Food Cans




Aluminum Drink Cans




Mixed Paper




Office Paper




Hardcover Books







$25,000+ (to Fairfax)

“Green” Wood




Scrap (Ferrous) Metal




Nonferrous Metal




C&D/Vinyl Siding












C&D/”White” Wood




 Many changes have already been implemented as part of the FY 09 budget in response to the 20+ % decrease in waste deliveries: 

▪   Elimination of Tuesday-Wednesday service hours at remote convenience centers

▪   Eliminaton of VDOT waiver beginning in FY 10

▪   Rotating staff among the different recycling operations

▪   Reducing site attendants at Corral Farm convenience center

▪   Changing processing operations of recyclables to minimize labor expense

▪   Freezing permanent positions – Environmental Coordinator, Operators (2) 

▪   Eliminating part-time temporary staff (5) at the remote sites except to serve as backup

▪   Replacing temporary staff (4) with trustees from the jail

▪   Freezing temporary staff (8 sorters & 1 equipment operator) in response to lower tonnage

▪   Minimizing contract labor to public service/emergency use only

▪   Reviewing & modifying contract services for cost effectiveness

▪   Suspending operations of certain non-profitable recycling operations (carpeting & padding, buckets)

▪   Modifying residential ‘free’ disposal program for non-household generated materials (remodeling projects) and

     defining appropriate ‘residential’ vehicles to be cars, pickups and trailers

▪   Deferring maintenance projects (equipment, building and sites)

▪   Deferring capital projects

The above changes have decreased FY 09 expenditure projections by approximately $700,000.   Additional changes are proposed below that will save an additional $175,000 estimated on an annual basis.

▪   Reduce the education program to part-time funded in part by a non-competitive DEQ grant

▪   Reduce 1 permanent site attendant’s hours to part-time at Corral Farm convenience center

▪   Reduce 1 site attendant’s hours to part-time and change residential lane hours (Monday – Friday): morning –

    noon - end of day only

▪   Modify mulch program to residential self-load for free; load for a fee on Saturdays only

▪   Modify landfill contractor to hourly rate (snow, borrow area, bulk waste area)

▪   Suspend blue bag acceptance from Warrenton

Even with the above staffing and service adjustments, expenditure reductions and deferrals (estimated to be $875,000 annually) in FY 09 are not adequate to cover the current $1,400,000 revenue shortfall which will result in the Landfill Fund using all of its cash and restricted savings during the current fiscal year.  If commodity prices and tonnage deliveries remain low for an extended period, the revenue shortfall will result in a significant negative fund balance in FY 10.   A negative fund balance will occur even if all collection system expenditures are contained within the General Fund.  Critical engineering work related to future landfill permitting deferred for the past two years also needs to progress in FY 10 in order to provide future landfill space when needed.

Since many commodities are presently at best marginally economical, the only significant savings available within the Landfill Enterprise is to stop collecting, hauling and processing non-profitable materials (glass, mixed paper, plastic bottles, cardboard, other).   Suspending certain recycling programs will result in additional tipping fee expenditures by the General Fund but these will be offset by lower hauling expenses in FY 10.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Review progress to date and take action on suggested service reductions.


Financial Impacts Analysis:

None at this time.  The multi-year financial plan will be updated and submitted as part of the department FY10 budget submission.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Finance Department

Budget Office

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