Licking County residents are likely to ssee an increase in trash fees next year, as a result of the ratification of a five-year plan by the Coshocton/Fairfield/Licking/Perry Solid Waste District.

Licking County residents are likely to ssee an increase in trash fees next year, as a result of the ratification of a five-year plan by the Coshocton/Fairfield/Licking/Perry Solid Waste District.

Carol Philipps, coordinator of the Solid Waste District, said about two-thirds of representatives of the district's population approved the plan that will increase disposal fees for haulers from $1 per ton to $3.25 per ton within the district beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

"The policy committee meets this Friday (March 26, after The Independent's deadline) to declare it ratified," she said. "It will go to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in April."

The Johnstown Village Council unanimously approved ratifying the plan earlier this month, while the village of Granville voted to withhold its support. The city of Newark also voted down the plan.

The main reason for the disposal fee increase is because Franklin County no longer disposes of waste in the district's landfills.

Franklin County was paying for half of the district's program the last 17 years, but they are no longer doing that, Phillips told The Independent.

She said the increased dumping fee cost to be paid by waste haulers will be passed on to residents and businesses, and that was the main reason cited by those who didn't support the plan.

"It will be passed on, there's no doubt in my mind," she said. "The haulers can't afford to absorb that. I would guess, since the plan is effective Jan. 1, 2011, the increase will be on whatever bill goes out that quarter. It depends when each hauler sends their bill out in that time-frame. If they increase (rates) earlier, it isn't because of us."

She estimates the average increase for residents will be about 27 cents a month.

Solid Waste Districts are required by law to update their management plan every five years, reduce solid waste they send to landfills and increase recycling.

In order for the 2010-15 plan to pass, 60 percent of the population of the district needed to approve it, and it also needed the okay of at least three of the four counties.

In addition, three of the following four had to approve the plan: Newark, New Lexington, Lancaster, and Coshocton. Newark, representing 13 percent of the district's population, was the only dissenting municipality of the four.

Philipps said the vote shows the public supports the program.

Over the next four years, options programs like sanitary and health departments that conduct nuisance complaints will be phased out.

Household hazardous waste collections could also eventually be phased out, but the district currently has budgeted to offer them every other year.

"In Licking County, you won't see it every year but every other year," Philipps said. "We definitely have trimmed the cost by eliminating the collection of paint. It isn't a hazardous material. It's a nuisance but not hazardous. By eliminating that from collection, we cut the bills in half or more."