Double-barrel trash, recycling collection OK'd for Whitehall

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
Whitehall City Council voted to switch to a two-cart recycling- and garbage-pickup system in 2021, in part to help reduce the amount of trash the city sends to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

Whitehall residents will pay a few extra bucks each month for solid-waste disposal and recycling next year, but they'll receive uniform containers for trash and recycling in exchange.

Whitehall City Council on Aug. 18 approved a contract renewal with the city's provider, Local Waste Services, by a 7-0 vote, said clerk of council Julie Ogg.

The five-year contract extension, effective Jan. 1, will incorporate a two-cart system for the first time in Whitehall.

The rate increase under the new contract is less than what it would have been had the city renewed the contract under the current system, service director Zach Woodruff said.

Whitehall residents are billed $13.75 per month for solid-waste disposal and recycling under the five-year contract with Local Waste Services that expires Dec. 31.

Had the city kept the status quo of residents providing their own containers, the monthly rate would have increased to $19.20, said Megan Meyer, community-affairs manager for Whitehall.

Under the new contract, each resident will receive a 64-gallon recycling container and a 96-gallon, 64-gallon or 48-gallon solid-waste container.

The 64-gallon recycling container is part of an effort to increase the city's diversion rate from the landfill, Meyer said.

The choice of container size for trash determines the new monthly rate.

For a 48-gallon container, the monthly rate will be $16.20. For a 64-gallon container, the rate will be $17.20. Those who want a 96-gallon container will pay $18.20.

"Costs (for refuse collection and recycling) have continued to rise, so we expected an increase," Meyer said.

Woodruff said although the city had the benefit of locking in rates when the five-year contract began in 2016, officials were "not surprised by the prices" of the new pact.

The city also locked in the adjusted rate for the term of the five-year extension as part of a consortium with the city of Groveport, the village of Brice, and Clinton, Pleasant, Sharon and Truro townships.

Council member Lori Elmore said she supports the new system.

"The benefits of having a two-cart system allows for the right-sizing of services, or paying for what is used," Elmore said. "It promotes community branding, reduces costs, (reduces) litter and it is safer to haul."

The city will purchase the containers rather than lease them, providing the advantage of owning the containers when the time comes to negotiate a new contract, Meyer said.

In addition to a lower rate increase and diverting more trash from the landfill, a uniform two-cart system would provide covered containers to reduce instances of materials blowing out of open containers or animals ransacking bags of trash, Woodruff said.

Whitehall's collection day, Wednesday, will not change under the new contract, Meyer said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo