Licking County residents should expect 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 should expect 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.

SWD coordinator Carol Philipps said about two-thirds of representatives of the district's population approved the plan to increase disposal fees within the district from the current $1 per ton to $3.25 per ton beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

"The policy committee meets this Friday (March 26, after ThisWeek'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, and the village of Granville voted to withhold its support. The city of Newark also voted down the plan.

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

Franklin County was paying for half of the district's program for the past 17 years, but no longer, Phillips told ThisWeek.

She said the increased dumping cost to be paid by waste haulers would 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 estimated the average increase for residents would 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.

For the 2010-15 plan to pass, 60 percent of the district's population had to approve it, and it needed the apparoval of at least three of the four counties.

In addition, three of the following four municipalities 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.

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 also eventually could 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."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com