Solid Waste Charge
Charges effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015
Chapter 48, Section 43(d) of the Montgomery County Code states that "the solid waste fund must be maintained and managed so that revenues equal expenses…" The expenditures of the solid waste fund are delineated annually in the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Budget and the Operating Budget. The primary sources of revenue into the solid waste fund are service charges assessed to entities that benefit from the solid waste management system. These charges are structured so as to bear an equitable relation to the County’s costs of providing different types of solid waste services.
How is the Solid Waste Charge calculated?
There are five charges:
Disposal Fees are charged either to the refuse collector or the homeowner, but not both. Collectors are charged the Disposal Fee in the form of a per-ton "Tipping Fee" at the Shady Grove Transfer Station based on the tonnage of solid waste delivered for disposal. Refuse received from collectors serving single-family households outside municipalities, is exempted the tipping fee. Instead, the owners of such residences pre-pay a per-household Disposal Fee that approximates what their collector would pay if that refuse were not so exempted. The County’s tipping fee is market-based in relation to tipping fees in nearby jurisdictions, and helps assure that Montgomery County does not receive waste from outside the County.
Base Systems Benefit Charges are assessed to the owners of each “improved” property in the County (e.g. occupancy permitted residences and non-residential improvement with assessed value > $5,000). Together with Tipping and Disposal Fees, revenue from Base System Benefit charges must cover the costs of developing and maintaining the basic programs and facilities necessary to fulfill the County's obligation to manage all solid waste generated within the County. These charges provide for
- overall solid waste program administration (including solid waste enforcement activities, Dickerson Facilities Master Plan and general program development, the Division management personnel, and general engineering/technical support, etc.)
- waste reduction programs
- debt service on existing facilities (including the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station, Oaks Landfill, Resource Recovery Facility and Recycling Center), and
- the cost of all solid waste disposal programs and facilities.
Incremental Systems Benefit Charges are assessed to each generating sector for services not equally available or provided to all sector equally. For example, the County's curbside recycling collection is provided only to single-family homes outside municipal areas; only homes which receive the service are charged to cover its cost. Multi-family and non-residential sectors are charged for recycling outreach and other activities oriented to those waste generating sectors.
Refuse Collection Charges are assessed to households in the Collection District that receive refuse collection by County-contracted collectors. These are single-family households or dwellings in buildings comprised of six or fewer dwelling units located in the District. This District is primarily located in the southern part of the County. Municipalities are not included.
Leaf Vacuuming Charges are assessed to owners of residences in the Leaf Vacuuming Collection District to cover the cost of specific leaf vacuuming services provided in the Fall by the Department of Transportation's Division of Highway Services.
For the purposes of estimating waste generation, and establishing the Base and Incremental System Benefit Charges, the County distinguishes two classes of residential dwellings:
- those in buildings comprised of one to six dwellings (“single-family”), and
- those in buildings comprised of seven or more dwelling units (“multi-family”).
Townhouses are considered single-family dwellings, regardless of the number in a contiguous group.
The term “condominium” refers to the nature of ownership of real property, and has no bearing on the determination of Solid Waste Charges.
Who receives the Solid Waste Charge bill?
Property owners receive the Solid Waste Charge bill.
The County does not bill renters of real property.