Liberty Township officials estimate a new deal with Rumpke for trash and recycling services will save residents millions of dollars over the next three years.
Genoa, Liberty and Orange township trustees voted to approve a joint contract with Rumpke for trash service at meetings in June.
The contract will take effect Feb. 1.
Under the deal, households in the townships will pay $12.95 per month for trash and recycling service. Residents will receive unlimited weekly trash pickup and the use of 18-gallon recycling bins, which Rumpke will provide at no additional cost.
Prior to the deal with Rumpke, Liberty Township had no contract in place for trash services, leaving residents to deal directly with firms for waste removal.
Township officials estimate the deal will save households an average of $15.05 per month -- an overall savings of more than $1 million annually for township residents. Senior citizens will receive an additional 10 percent discount.
According to township records, Genoa and Orange township households, which already receive service from Rumpke, will save $2.49 and $2.80 per month under the new contract.
The overall savings to the communities' residents is estimated at $4.7 million over three years.
Liberty Township Administrator Dave Anderson said he's often heard complaints in recent years about the lack of a townshipwide contract for waste removal. He described the current situation in the township as "the wild, wild west," with firms charging whatever they can to residents.
Anderson said Liberty Township residents will pay less for pickup than many neighboring communities under the contract. For instance, Powell residents pay $17.14 per month for trash and recycling services through Rumpke.
"We're lower than Powell's rate ... and other communities, and that's a must-hold, three-year rate," he said. "Then there are options to extend if all communities agree and the carrier extends."
At the board's June 16 meeting, Liberty Township Trustee Shyra Eichhorn said she was excited about the savings. She said she knew the idea of a townshipwide contract had caused controversy before, but she thought the numbers would convince residents it was the right idea now.
"When you're coming in with numbers like this, it has too much of a benefit, in my mind, to ignore," she said.
Eichhorn said it was probably impossible to make a decision that would make every resident happy in regards to trash service.
Trustee Melanie Leneghan expressed concerns about possible surcharges for fuel and disposal of large items.
Anderson said Rumpke was not allowed to implement fuel surcharges, but could charge residents fees for removal of large items.
He said the consolidation of services to one provider also will reduce the amount of wear and tear on township roads by limiting the number of garbage trucks.
"This is one of the best things you can do to eliminate (heavy) trucks driving on county streets and beating them up," Anderson said.
Collection times and days for the townships have not been finalized.