July 9, 2024 | Business+Finance

2023 Landfill Tip Fees In The U.S.

Top: All regions of the U.S. saw a decrease in unweighted average tip fees in 2023, except for the Northeast, which experienced an increase of $7.52/ton.

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) maintains a database of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills across the United States, which it uses for analysis of MSW landfill tipping fees. For its 2023 landfill tipping fee report, released in May 2024, EREF contacted landfill owners and requested gate rate information for MSW disposal, supplemented by current website information on fees. In the 2023 study, 515 landfills were surveyed. MSW tip fee information was obtained from a total of 342 of those facilities. EREF reports the data based on two methodologies it uses to calculate its averages: an unweighted national average based on all tip fees reported, and a weighted fee based on the relative amount of MSW disposed via landfilling and the tip fee at each facility to create a ton-weighted average.

The national unweighted average landfill tipping fee decreased to $56.80 in 2023, a 3% decrease from the 2022 tip fee of $58.47 — the first decrease since 2020, reports EREF. The ton-weighted national average minimally decreased to $57.63 in 2023, a 10-cent decrease from the $57.73 weighted average in 2022. “The increase observed in the ton-weighted average from 2020 to 2022 is the result of the large landfill average tip fee surpassing the average of small and medium landfills for the first time in 2021 and due to the higher proportion of waste managed by large landfills,” explains EREF. The Foundation estimates that large landfills manage 56% of MSW; medium landfills and small landfills manage 38% and 6% of waste, respectively. Of the 342 landfills providing gate rate information in 2023, 21% were large (averaging 731,006 tons/year), 44% were medium (averaging 166,981 tons/year), and 35% were small (averaging 31,094 tons). Large landfills are defined as accepting >390,000 tons/year, medium is between 65,000 and 390,000 and small is <65,000 tons/year. In 2023, large landfills had an unweighted average tip fee of $68.82/ton, medium landfills averaged $49.70/ton, and small landfills averaged $58.55/ton.

EREF also calculates the data by six regions (Northeast, Pacific, Midwest, Mountain Plains, South Central, and Southeast). All regions saw a decrease in unweighted average tip fees in 2023, except for the Northeast, which experienced an increase of $7.52/ton or 10% (from $75.92 to $84.44/ton). The Pacific region had the greatest drop from 2022 (from $69.02 to $62.28). The full report can be downloaded using this link.

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