Pennsylvania Increases Tipping Fees $4 Per Ton

Harrisburg, PA - The cost of trash disposal to Pennsylvanians increased by $56 million a year.

As part of the budget package approved by legislators and the governor over the weekend, the tipping tax will increase by $4 per ton bringing total taxes on a ton of trash disposed at a Pennsylvania landfill to $7.25.

The $4 tax hike will cost Pennsylvania residents and businesses an estimated $56 million a year in added disposal costs for approximately 14 million tons generated within the Commonwealth.

According to the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association (PWIA), the breakdown of state-imposed taxes on a ton of trash will be as follows:

Existing: $2 to the State Recycling Fund. This money underwrites municipal curbside recycling programs.

Existing: $1 minimum to the local host municipality. This money is used by municipalities to support a variety of local programs and to hold down local taxes.

Existing: 25 cents to the State Environmental Stewardship Fund. This money is used for Growing Greener environmental grants throughout the state.

New: $4 to the Environmental Stewardship Fund and the State General Fund.

The first $50 million in revenue from the $4 tax hike will go to the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The rest will go into the General Fund. In fiscal year 2003-2004 and after, all of the revenue is to go into the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Authorization for the $4 tax hike extends until 2012.

PWIA special counsel David J. Brooman said the tax legislation anticipates and authorizes disposal site operators to pass along the tax hike to customers. Many disposal site operators are currently in the process of notifying customers that their bills will increase to cover the added taxes.

Approximately 27 million tons of trash are disposed of in Pennsylvania each year, over 14 million generated by Pennsylvania families and businesses and the remainder coming from out of the state.

Even before the hike, waste disposal was one of the most heavily taxed industries. Disposal facilities in Pennsylvania were already paying 26 cents in taxes and fees for every dollar of revenue they earned— more than four times the average industry in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association represents private-sector waste haulers and landfill operators in Pennsylvania and is affiliated with the National Solid Waste Management Association.