The cost of trash collection will stay the same next year, but Reynoldsburg residents will have to give up their red recycling bins by spring and pay $17.02 for a 64-gallon blue recycling bin.

Public Service Director Bill Sampson said a new three-year contract with Rumpke Waste and Recycling will start Jan. 1, 2019, if it's approved by Reynoldsburg City Council.

The contract ordinance had its first reading at Reynolsburg City Council's Sept. 24 meeting and was sent back to committee for more discussion. The ordinance will be discussed in committee and go through two more readings before a final vote, Sampson said.

"This was a competitive bid process conducted by SWACO earlier in the year," he said. "The biggest change to residents is the requirement to have recycling carts that can be mechanically lifted.

"Reynoldsburg is one of the most aggressive recycling cities in central Ohio," he said. "Purchasing the recycling carts will be part of the 2019 budget, and legislation will be introduced the first of the year."

The new contract establishes the cost for trash and recycling pickup for 2019 at $16.71 per household per month, which is the current rate.

In 2020, the cost for trash pickup will increase to $17.88 per household per month and will rise again in 2021 to $19.13 per month.

Sampson said the new recycling carts would be rolled out sometime in spring 2019; residents will receive a schedule telling them when the old red bins will be picked up, he said.

The cost of the new blue bins will be included with quarterly water and refuse bills in 2019, he said

Whether residents will have to pay for the bins on one bill, or have the cost spread over the year still is being discussed, Sampson said.

"We want to sit down with the mayor and finance committee and discuss this so we can identify the best way to bill residents," he said. "Since we bill quarterly, the cost may be spread across the quarterly bills in 2019."

SWACO Programs Manager Andrew Booker said the initial cost of the bins was more than $40, but residents pay only 15 percent of that, with grants obtained by SWACO covering the rest.

"We've seen a 30- to 50-percent increase in recycling in cities that moved to larger bins," Booker said. "They are considered a best practice in recycling at this stage and provide much more room for cardboard boxes and other recyclables."

He said the fact the bins can be mechanically lifted by recycling trucks helps to keep pickup costs down.

Sampson said the Thursday trash pickup day would not change, except for Rumpke's normal holiday schedule, as in past years.

However, the city may eventually require residents to purchase 95-gallon refuse cans, which also can be mechanically lifted by automated trucks.

"We are not there yet, but our goal is to incorporate the 95-gallon cans, which would keep costs down and allow all the trash to be picked up by automated trucks," Sampson said.

Booker said the blue bins come with a 12-year warranty.

"These are improved over the large bins provided in the past and are built for all seasons," he said.

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