Rumpke was the lowest and best bidder at a bid opening Sept. 10 for providing recycling and trash services for Pickerington.

Rumpke was the lowest and best bidder at a bid opening Sept. 10 for providing recycling and trash services for Pickerington.

Pickerington City Council's safety committee voted 3-0 Sept. 19 to recommend the full council award the contract to Rumpke.

A vote is expected at council's Oct. 16 meeting.

According to Pickerington Service Director Ed Drobina, Rumpke submitted a bid which would provide for a contract term of five years with a residential rate for unlimited trash pickup of $8.75 a month.

The bid also provides a senior discount of 10 percent. Included in the bid is an option for a resident to purchase a 96-gallon toter for $1.60 a month. Weekly subscription for recycling service would be $3 a month.

"Basically, the base rate and recycle rates are less than the current contract," Drobina said.

"We did put a disaster assist in the contract, which would assist the city during a disaster," he said.

According to Rumpke, the current rate for residential trash collection in Pickerington is $11.23 per household, which comes to $33.69 quarterly. Residents who wish to recycle can choose between two different options: pay $5.57 a month for an 18-gallon recycling cart or $8.78 a month for a 35-gallon cart.

Rumpke has provided trash collection and curbside recycling for Pickerington since 2008.

The company inked a one-year extension of its contract with the city in October 2011, thus the current contract is set to expire in October this year.

From 2001 to 2007, the city's trash collection was administered by Waste Management Inc.

"Our contract will cover all the city of Pickerington residents, approximately 4,000 homes," Drobina said.

According to the language in the bid process, the contract includes provision for both Violet Township and the village of Baltimore to participate because there is an option for the successful contractor to service "another 1,000 households or more households in an unincorporated area in close proximity to the city, and approximately 520 households in the village of Baltimore."

Although Baltimore appears to be willing to partner with Pickerington to make it a regional trash contract, Violet Township is out of the running.

"We can't (do it) because we don't have a trash district," said Violet Township Administrator Bill Yaple.

"We never established a trash district that would allow the township trustees to contract for all the trash hauling in the whole township," he said.

Yaple said the subject has been broached several times in the past, but has encountered considerable controversy among township residents.

"There was a public meeting on it in the '90s and 200 to 300 people filled the room." he said.

"As recent as three to five years ago, when it came out we were discussing it again, those same folks filled the room again," Yaple said.

He said it would be ideal to have just one contractor collect trash in the township because it would significantly reduce the wear and tear that now results from having multiple trucks traverse township roads during the collection process.

He said now there are multiple different trash haulers "in the township five days a week" and he identified at least five contractors that haul trash in the township.

"There's Local Waste out of Columbus, CMI out of Newark, a company out of Lancaster, Rumpke and BFI," he said.

Yaple said it remains up to the homeowner's associations in township subdivisions to determine whether they want to limit the number of haulers on their respective streets.

Although Rumpke won't be the single-hauler for the township, company officials said it remains committed to Pickerington.

According to Jonathan Kissel, corporate communications supervisor for Rumpke, officials from the company met with the city Sept. 27 to work out other details in the proposed contract.

"The contract has not been awarded yet so there are not many details we're able to provide," Kissel said.

"We believe we provided a competitive bid," he said.

"We hope we put ourselves in position to receive approval to provide recycling and trash for the Pickerington community."

Kissel said recycling will continue to be optional.

"Pickerington is a subscription-based program so it is up to individual residents to determine whether to participate."

He said Rumpke underwent major renovations to its recycling facility from 2009 to 2011.

"We made $15 million in upgrades (and) now it is considered the most technologically advanced recycling system in the world," Kissel said, adding the company processes "10,000 pounds of recyclables every 10 minutes."