Price increase at Davidson County landfills

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Some items that used to be free to drop off at Davidson County landfills now have price tags attached.

Operations Manager Steven Sink said, among others, mattresses, home hazardous waste (like paint and chemicals) and electronics are no longer free. Now, each of those items will cost $8 to leave at the landfill.

"There have been several complaints and we kind of explained to them that we'd either have to charge or do away with the service," Sink said. "We're trying to keep providing the service to residents."

Sink said that disposal of items is very costly and in order for the landfill to stay in business they needed the people who use it to pick up part of the tab. Sink said the $8 does not come close to covering the total cost it incurs on the landfill.

Each truckload of electronics, Sink said, could cost as much as $5,000 to properly dispose of.

Some residents of Davidson County expressed frustration about the new costs.

"I'd rather pay the lower price, but it's not like I throw a lot of trash away," said Joe Spagnardi.

Others said they understand the need for the new prices.

"I don't think it's unfair," said Rob Hibbitts. "For what you gotta bring up here -- it's better than keeping it around. You're getting it out of your way."

Assistant County Manager Casey Smith said the Davidson County landfills get no funding from the county. So, Sink said it's crucial for the landfills' operations to be self-sustaining.

"We're not trying to get rich," Sink said. "We're just trying to offset the cost so we don't have to absorb it all."

The price increase went into effect July 1.