CW considers changing trash hauler contract

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A 10-year contract with Waste Management is up this year and Canal Winchester City Council has a decision to make—continue with the local hauler or join a SWACO consortium for trash services.

“The current contract is up right before Labor Day,” said Public Service Director Matt Peoples, who reported a new proposal with Waste Management would include weekly, automated pick-up and every other week recycling pick-up in 65-gallon carts.

The contract includes a bulk item pick-up limit of two items per month, scheduled ahead of time and additional recycling pick-ups conducted around Christmas and New Year. It also contains an annual adjustment rate of four percent. Senior citizens would still receive a 10 percent discount.

According to Peoples, the cost would be approximately $22.50 per month, which includes a 90-gallon refuse cart and the recycling cart. Additional refuse carts are available at an extra cost of $14 per month and another recycling cart would cost $9.50 a month.

“Right now, 63 percent of our residents are renting a cart,” said Peoples. “Other than recycling, the biggest change is the automated pick-up.”

According to a Waste Management website, automated service uses a truck equipped with a mechanical arm that lifts trash and recycling containers from the street and empties the containers’ contents into the truck – without the driver ever leaving the cab. This type of service is used in more than 2,800 communities in the United States.

Residents can fill containers without having to worry about weight and automated containers are uniform in appearance, more durable and reduce the likelihood of tipping or spilling.

“There are some advantages,” said Peoples. “Everything has to be in the cart. Automation is part of an industry-wide thing.”

According to Peoples, if the city decides to join the Solid Waste Authority’s consortium bid, negotiations with Waste Management would stop.

Councilman Will Bennett noted the city would lose the franchise fee Waste Management pays to Canal Winchester and he wanted residents to know the benefits of keeping the trash hauler in the city.

“There are a lot of things we benefit from by having them in Canal Winchester,” said Mayor Mike Ebert. “It’s unbelievable the things they do for us.”

Peoples said, at this point in the negotiations, the city has a month before it must decide on how best to proceed.

Reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 is taking its toll on city employees and businesses. All part-time municipal employees were put on a modified schedule. Finance Director Amanda Jackson said the city is “trying to avoid having too many bodies in our buildings.”

The Farmer’s Market was put on hold and Development Director Lucas Haire said the city is keeping a close eye on businesses operating in Canal Winchester and connecting them to resources, if needed.

“A number of businesses closed down,” said Haire, who said some may not come back and local companies tied to the auto industry are “almost essentially shut down.”

Lender financing for an agreement with Northpoint was pulled on March 18, the day before the company was scheduled to close on a contract with the city. Haire said the city extended the contract to give the company time to find new financing.

However, Haire said development involving a 16,500-square-foot office park and two restaurants—Shooters and Panda Express—is moving ahead and he’s still seeing strong activity in new single-family residential housing.

“Major retailers like grocery stores seem to be busier than ever,” said Haire.

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