New Gate Fees Frequently Asked Questions
Kern County Public Works has compiled frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the gate fees at all Kern County Public Works-owned and operated landfills and transfer stations. The gate fees have been adopted by the Kern County Board of Supervisors per Kern County Ordinance No. G-9083.
Generally speaking, a gate fee is charged for specific wastes brought to a County waste facility. Gate fees would apply for waste resulting from commercial, industrial, institutional, and agricultural sources and wastes such as construction and demolition, tires, treated wood, dead animals, travel trailers, clean dirt and inerts, and other items as defined in the ordinance.
Gates fees are one of the mechanisms that funds the Kern County Public Works Department. Fees fund the planning, development, and operation of landfills and transfer stations throughout the County in addition to recycling program implementation consistent with State and local rules and regulations. Gate fees at Kern County Public Works facilities have not increased in ten years, with the last adjustment occurring in mid-2012.
In addition, Senate Bill (SB) 1383 was signed into law of 2016 establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 50% reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025. As such, Kern County Public Works is required to implement additional programs targeting the collection, processing, and reduction of organic wastes currently being disposed of. In addition, new infrastructure is required to manage the increase in organic waste recovery and solid waste management.
“Organic waste” means solid wastes containing material originated from living organisms and their metabolic waste products including, but not limited to, food, green material, landscape and pruning waste, organic textiles and carpets, lumber, wood, paper products, printing and writing paper, manure, biosolids, digestate, and sludges.
Landfills are the third largest source of methane in California. Organic waste in landfills emits 20% of the state’s methane, a climate pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and air pollutants like PM 2.5, which contributes to health conditions like asthma. Organics like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard make up half of what Californians dump in landfills. Organics and food scraps can now be deposited in your residential curbside green container. Reducing short-lived climate pollutants resulting from the decomposition of organic waste will have the fastest impact on the climate crisis.
In order to save valuable landfill space and meet State of California mandates, Kern County Public Works operates a variety of recycling programs at its disposal sites and transfer stations. A variety of materials that are separated from the waste stream are processed into new products, which is beneficial to eliminating the disposal first mentality. However, recycling is a very intensive process that involves collecting, processing, screening, transporting, cleaning, and transforming materials into another use. Each one of these steps in the recycling process comes at a significant cost.
Information for commercial and residential waste and recycling handling guidelines throughout Kern County can be found in our Recycling Portal. This Recycling Portal is designed to provide Kern County residents and businesses with information on reuse and recycling options available throughout the county.
The Kern County Public Works Department operates seven recycling & sanitary landfills, six transfer stations, and one bin site. Residents are not charged a gate fee for ordinary household trash brought to a waste and recycling facility, as the Land Use Fee paid by the property owner covers use of a waste facility. Ordinary household trash includes your usual and typical items placed in your curbside container plus self-hauled appliances, clothing, televisions, electronic waste, green waste, and furniture. If, as a resident, you decide to self-haul your ordinary household trash and recyclables to a landfill or transfer station, there will not be a gate fee.
Items that would be charged a gate fee to a resident of Kern County include construction & demolition materials such as asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, drywall, fencing, metal, pallets, roofing, plastics, piping, and wood. In addition, fees for tires, dead animals (not including small pets), treated wood waste, travel trailers, clean dirt/inerts, and untarped and unsecured loads may apply. All items listed here are considered non-ordinary household trash and construction & demolition wastes.
As a Kern County resident, the only company you can call and pay to arrange for the pick-up of solid waste from your house is a franchise hauler. Contact the franchise hauler servicing your residence to discuss. If you are unaware of the hauler servicing your area, Kern County Public Works can assist in connecting you with a franchise hauler. Please see Section 5.36.040 of the Kern County Code of Ordinances for details.
We encourage you to talk to your gardening service directly and request that your residential curbside green container be utilized to its fullest capacity first before green waste is removed from your property. Additional green wastes and organics that require hauling off from your property, that does not fit in your green container, may result in additional fees from your service provider.
Non-Residential (Commercial) & Non-Ordinary Household Trash Questions
Non-residential waste received at or transferred to a Kern County Public Works owned and operated facilities will be assessed at the gate fees mentioned below.
The basic per ton gate fee for trailers, large vehicles, and roll-offs of non-residential solid waste, excluding wastes for which a special rate or charge is included, will be $61.79 per ton. Cars will be charged $12.78 per vehicle. Pickup trucks will be charged $28.77 per vehicle. Pickup trucks loaded above cab will be charged $36.22 per vehicle.
The gate fee for construction and demolition (C&D) mixed loads waste will be $85.23 per ton.
Since transfer stations require additional handling and transportation of the waste to either a disposal facility or recycling center, the per ton gate fee for non-residential solid waste received at any transfer station will include an additional $10.65 per ton transfer fee for a total rate of $72.44 per ton.
The gate fee for solid waste brought to a Kern County waste facility from outside of Kern County, excluding wastes for which a special rate or charge may apply, is $95.89 per ton. A transfer fee of $10.65 per ton will apply if brought to a transfer station.
The gate fee for construction and demolition waste will be $85.23 per ton. Items that would be charged as construction & demolition waste (C&D) include, but are not limited to, loads partially or entirely consisting of asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, drywall, roofing material, fencing, metal, packing material, pallets, plastics, piping, carpet, and wood. This is not an exhaustive list of C&D wastes.
Recycling of C&D waste is required under the existing CALGreen building standards code and state regulations. Construction projects shall adhere to their approved Construction Waste Management Plan requiring the diversion of a minimum of 65% of waste generated. Kern County Public Works encourages all C&D construction contractors to source separate construction materials during the construction project and may also consider other options for recycling such as existing C&D waste recovery facilities in Kern County. More information for can be found in our Recycling Portal.
Effective July 1, 2022, at Kern County Public Works operated or approved green waste recycling facilities, any and all loads of non-residential green waste shall be charged at the rate of $61.79 per ton or at the vehicle type rates presented in the ordinance. Gate fees will be administered at the time of delivery at the gatehouse of each facility.
Beginning January 1, 2022, a commercial self-hauler of organic wastes (such as yard trimmings, grass clippings, brush, leaves, and similar items) are required by state law, specifically Senate Bill 1383, to keep their organics loads free of contamination and are required to send organics collected during the course of conducting their business for recycling, such as a drop-off location at a County operated facility. In addition, as a self-hauler you are required to maintain documentation and records per Senate Bill 1383 that demonstrate you have delivered your organic wastes to a recycling facility.
We encourage your business to establish a gate fee account with Kern County Public Works, which will make your trip to the landfill or transfer station easy, fast, and simple. Complete and submit the Gate Fee Account paperwork today. Payments options at Kern County Public Works facilities include gate fee accounts, check, Visa, Mastercard, or cash.
The State of California has mandated each jurisdiction (in this case the County of Kern) to enforce the requirements of Senate Bill 1383. Entities that do not comply with Senate Bill 1383 requirements will be issued fines for non-compliance.
Dirt that is determined to be clean (free of debris, trash, and contaminants) by Kern County Public Works staff prior to delivery to a facility or determined on-site is charged at $5.33 per ton. Clean inerts (concrete, brick, asphalt, etc.) are charged at $15.98 per ton. If inert loads are determined to be contaminated with debris, trash, or contaminants and require disposal, the load will be considered construction and demolition (C&D) waste and charged at $85.23 per ton.
The gate fee for non-residential solid waste, excluding wastes for which a special rate or charge may apply, is $61.79 per ton. Since transfer stations require additional handling and transportation of the waste to a final disposal location or recycling center, the per ton gate fee for non-residential solid waste received at any transfer station will include an added $10.65 per ton transfer fee for a total rate of $72.44 per ton.
Dead animals (excluding small pets) that require special handling at a disposal facility is $106.54 per animal. Multiple dead animals or parts of animals that require special handling at the disposal facility is $159.81 per ton. Special handling is determined at the receiving facility. Large dead animals (such as pigs, goats, horses, chickens, etc.) and multiple dead animals are accepted at landfills only. Smaller household pets (cat, small dog, etc.) are accepted at landfills and transfer stations.
All tires, regardless of if they originate from a residential or non-residential source, will be charged the following fees. Tires in bulk loads and earth mover tires will be charged at $266.35 per ton. Light duty tires will be charged at $3.20 per tire for 18" diameter rim or smaller. Heavy duty tires will be charged at $15.98 per tire for 19" to 24" diameter rims. Oversize tires will be charged at $21.31 per tire for racing tires and tires with more than 24" rims.
Gate fees for treated wood waste depend wholly on the location of delivery. Some facilities, such as transfer stations and unlined landfills, cannot dispose of treated wood waste items and require additional handling and transportation to a final destination. Delivery of treated wood waste to transfer stations and unlined landfills will be limited to a maximum of 2 cubic yards per load at any site. Disposal of treated wood waste in the form of railroad ties will be charged at $15.98 per tie. Disposal of treated wood waste other than railroad ties will be charged at $159.81 per ton. A transfer station fee of $10.65 per ton will apply if a non-residential customer delivers the treated wood waste.
Lined landfills that are permitted to accept treated wood waste for disposal, such as Bakersfield Metropolitan (Bena), Shafter-Wasco, and Taft, the gate fee is $85.23 per ton. Due to the operations at these three landfills, it is essential that you contact Kern County Public Works prior to the delivery of any treated wood waste items to coordinate disposal requirements and complete the required paperwork. Kern County Public Works, at its sole discretion, shall determine the landfill that treated wood waste be sent for disposal.
With the passage of Senate Bill 1383, recycling is no longer a voluntary action. Recycling of all materials, specifically organics, is now mandated by the State of California and shall be handled in a manner that constitutes recycling. This means all recyclable materials coming to a Kern County Public Works facility is required to be brought into the facility separated. We encourage you to continue to source separate your materials when visiting the landfill by placing them in designated areas.
Recyclable materials that are separated from the waste stream are processed into new products down the road. Whereas this is beneficial to all, in order to get these materials in a condition suitable for recycling and to an end market for use includes a series of steps – collection, handling, equipment processing, transferring, screening, transportation, composting, and many others. Each one of these steps in the recycling process comes at a significant cost.
The gate fee for solid waste brought to a Kern County waste facility from outside of Kern County, excluding wastes for which a special rate or charge may apply, is $95.89 per ton. A transfer fee of $10.65 per ton will also apply if the out of County waste is brought to a transfer station.
We encourage all businesses to establish a gate fee account with Kern County Public Works. This makes your trip to the landfill or transfer station easy, fast, and simple. Complete and submit the Gate Fee Account Application via either the online or paper version today. Payments options at Kern County Public Works facilities include gate fee accounts, check, Visa, Mastercard, or cash.