A hearing on the fees will be held at the Malheur County Courthouse on April 6. (Enterprise file)

VALE – Prepare to pay a little more to dump debris at Malheur County’s Lytle Boulevard Landfill.

A loss of a major commercial customer and increasing costs prompted the proposal to raise the fees, according to Craig Geddes, director of the Malheur County Environmental Health Department.

The minimum fee, typical for something like a pickup load of up to 720 pounds of debris would go from $4 to $10. Geddes noted in a report to the Malheur County Court that Baker City charges a minimum $15.

For noncommercial customers, the “tipping” fee per ton would go up $4 to $28. Commercial haulers -– primarily S & S Disposal of Nyssa and the city of Vale -– would pay $24.70 a ton, up from $21.48.

The county court has scheduled a public hearing on the fee increases for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 6.

Geddes said he recommended the fee increase after an Idaho hauler changed ownership and the new owners switched to another landfill. That one account provided $50,000 a year in revenue -– about a third of the landfill’s total income, Geddes said.

On top of losing that money, the county faces a new expense. Geddes said landfills are now required to obtain an air quality permit from the state Department of Environmental Quality. The state charges $10,000 to apply and then $8,500 a year for the permit, Geddes said.

The new permit doesn’t provide the county any additional service.

“It’s just paperwork,” Geddes said, requiring among other things that the county report the amount of waste it takes in, “which we already report.”

Geddes said the landfill employs just one part-time employee and it won’t reduce hours as a result of the budget situation. Lytle is open 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The landfill doesn’t accept monitors such as television sets or computer screens, paint or hazardous materials.

Ontario Sanitary Service recycles electronics and Sherwin-Williams Paint Store in Ontario takes paint. Other hazardous materials have to go to the landfill in Payette, Geddes said.

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