Hilliard Northwest News

New trash deal moves all pickups to Tuesday

Contract includes 10-cent bill increase for most homes

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Beginning July 1, Hilliard residents will experience changes in their trash and recycling services, including a new pickup day and a 10-cent-per-month bill increase for most households.

Hilliard City Council on April 14 approved a five-year contract with Local Waste Services, which submitted a base bid of $8,304,557.

Rumpke, the current provider, will collect through June 30, when its one-year contract extension expires.

Local Waste Services was the city's provider through June 30, 2009, when Hilliard opted to switch to Rumpke.

When the new contract kicks in July 1, Local Waste Services will pick up solid waste, recyclable materials and yard waste throughout the city each Tuesday. Rumpke picked up three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, and no city official at the April 14 meeting could recall a time when Hilliard had single-day service.

Under the new contract, the standard monthly fee will be $16.28 per month for the first two years.

Another change is that residents will be provided uniform 64-gallon carts for solid waste and recyclable materials.

Hilliard officials had explored the possibility of automated pickup of solid waste and recycling, but no company returned a bid for it.

Four companies submitted bids for manual collection of solid waste, recycling and yard waste for a five-year period: Rumpke, Local Waste Services, Republic Services and Inland Waste Solutions.

All were base bids subject to change based on fuel costs and possible increases in tipping fees the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio levies for use of the landfill.

Rumpke, at $9.5 million, submitted the highest bid. Republic Services bid $8.5 million. Each company would have continued three-day, mid-week collections.

Inland Waste Solutions bid $8,220,357. The company would have collected solid waste and recyclables Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, but would have picked up yard waste citywide on Mondays.

Local Waste Services bid $8,304,557 and will pick up all materials each Tuesday.

Same-day pickup throughout the city and Local Waste Services' promise to convert its entire fleet of trucks to operate on compressed natural gas by 2018 appeared to give the company favored status among City Council members. Some of the company's fleet trucks already use compressed natural gas.

"Having all the trucks in and out of the city in one day is my preference," City Council President Nathan Painter said at the city planning, projects and services committee meeting in which committee members vetted the bids before the full council meeting.

Councilman Joe Erb concurred with Painter, adding that single-day truck traffic would cause less wear on city roads.

City Council members also said single-day pickup would make holidays less confusing as it would move pickup from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Representatives from three of the four bidders addressed the committee.

Kevin Mueller, vice president of safety for Texas-based Inland Waste Solutions, cautioned council members about how adverse weather can affect single-day pickups.

Michael Darling, representing Rumpke, thanked city officials for their support, adding that while Rumpke's bid was higher, "we'd like to retain your business if possible."

Eric DeHays, of Local Waste Services, reiterated the advantages of one-day service and trucks with fewer emissions, and told committee members the company has "a proven track record."

Hilliard Service Director Butch Seidle said he was pleased with the decision. He said residents' standard monthly fees for service will increase by 10 cents from $16.18 per month, per household, to $16.28.

The standard $16.28 monthly rate is for the first two years of the five-year contract, Seidle said.

The amount does not reflect applicable 10 percent discounts to senior citizens and customers who pay bills in full one year in advance.

More savings are possible if residents recycle more and reduce solid waste, Seidle said.

The bill would decrease incrementally as the recycling diversion rate increases, he said.

The city's recycling diversion rate is 18 percent.

If the city could achieve a 50-50 ratio, monthly rates would drop about $1.84, Seidle said.

The city also will subsidize the cost of in-house billing, estimated at 90 cents per household, per month, to lower monthly fees, Seidle said.

Beginning July 1, the city rather than the provider will bill residents for service.

Residents will be billed twice a year, Seidle said. Rumpke had billed quarterly.

The regular monthly rate also includes a $1.43 monthly surcharge for five years to pay the debt service for solid-waste and recycling containers provided to residents.

In a separate vote April 10, City Council authorized the purchase of solid-waste and recyclable containers from Otto Environmental Systems for $795,608.

Each single-family household will be provided two 64-gallon containers, a blue wheeled cart for recyclables and a green one for solid waste. Both containers will have hinged lids.

Residents living in condominiums will receive 32-gallon containers.

Residents eventually will have the option to use 96-gallon containers.

The cost of the containers is included in the monthly rate and reflects an average price for the purchase of all three sizes of containers.

After 60 days, residents with 32-gallon containers will have the option to upgrade to a 64-gallon container. Those with 64-gallon containers will have the option to trade for 96-gallon containers.

Residents seeking a larger receptacle for solid waste will have to pay a one-time charge up front, which would be $11.48, plus a $15 delivery fee, Seidle said. They can avoid the delivery fee by bringing their container to the city and swapping it out, he said.

To encourage recycling, the city will subsidize the cost of an upgrade to the 96-gallon recyclables container, Seidle said.

Councilwoman Kelly McGivern asked if the city should purchase any containers because it will have no automated pickup service.

Other members said the containers would lay the groundwork for future automated service and also increases aesthetics by providing uniform containers to each household.

After the meeting, DeHays said Local Waste Services could provide manual service more efficiently than automated service and did not expect the company to provide it in the near future.

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