A $5 increase in the tipping fee for handling garbage taken to the Davis County Solid Waste Management and Energy Recovery Special Service District's burn plant near Hill Air Force Base has been approved by the district board.

The increase means private haulers will pay $25 per ton for garbage hauled to the plant or to a nearby landfill owned by the district. That same fee will be assessed to member cities and counties for each house within their boundaries.The board indicated earlier this year that the tipping fee would increase and told cities to plan for the increase in preparing their new budgets. The increase translates to about 50-cents per household per month, officials said.

Chairman Jay Dewell said the new tipping fee is based on an anticipated waste stream of 350 tons per day into the plant and takes into consideration a 15 percent projected decrease in natural gas prices that will affect the revenue the plant receives for steam sales to Hill Air Force Base. The fee also anticipates that the district will be paying about 5.2 percent interest on the bonds it sold to finance the plant's construction.

Dewell told the board that the present waste stream is about 300 tons per day and that additional sources of trash will have to be found once the district takes control of the plant that is still seeking final state certification. Problems have occurred with the emission levels of nitrous oxide from the smoke stacks. Officials believe the present guidelines for emissions are too high because of erroneous data used in calculating the formula. The district is seeking a lower standard from the state bureau of air quality. That change is expected to take several months.

Getting the extra 50 tons per day of trash is not expected to be a problem. Dewell said as soon as the extra trash is needed, he will seek contracts with companies and cities outside the district.

The problem remaining is getting final certification. To stay within present emission guidelines, the plant is burning only 1,200 tons per week, with the rest of the district's trash going to the landfill. Board members are concerned at the amount of trash being buried and want to get the plant certified and in full operation as soon. The district has modified its contract with the builder extending the testing deadline to August with an option to go two more months to October if needed.

Dewell said the contractor now has an engineer on site to work on the emission problem and other concerns.