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Waste companies considering rate hikes as Lee's Summit landfill closure looms

Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 19:26:40-04

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO. — The countdown is on: the Lee’s Summit landfill is reaching capacity and will close by the end of the year.

As the closure looms, waste companies both big and small are seeking other arrangements, including Stewart Hauling. 

"We’ve been in business since 1955,” owner Curtis Stewart said. 

During much of that time, Stewart’s company has dumped its trash at the site on Southeast Hamblen Road. The landfill's closure is going to be a blow to his business, Stewart said. 

Whenever Stewart unloads a truck, he pays $38 a ton, which he said is a good rate compared to others in the metro area. 

"All the big companies really own all the places that we small guys are going to have to go to dump, so they’re getting to the point where they’ll be able to control the rates and raise them up,” Stewart said.

Stewart plans to increase his rates to stay in business.

"Most of my customers paying around $15 a house, they may have to pay $20,” Stewart said.

He isn’t alone — some other companies are warning customers of what’s to come.

Summit Waste Systems operates the landfill. Its CEO, Larry Giroux, told 41 Action News that he’s aware of the potential rate hikes and said one solution after the landfill closes, a transfer waste station, is stalled. 

In a statement, a city spokesperson wrote: 

“Negotiations have been unsuccessful with Summit Waste Systems on how to cover the funding shortfall associated with a transfer station. City staff is currently reviewing options to find a solution that’s best for the citizens of Lee’s Summit.”

As the city weighs its options, so does Stewart on when to raise his rates. 

"I think I’m going to wait to the first of the year,” he said.