Survey shows Groveport citizens’ preference for trash collection services

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Groveport city officials conducted on online community survey for citizens’ to express their opinions on which trash collection option they prefer.

The survey, which ended May 29, included an explanation of the bidding process and a breakdown of the proposed service options. According to city officials, there were 269 responses to the survey with 50.1 percent wanting to maintain the existing “status quo” trash pick-up plan and 28.6 percent preferring a combination of the existing plan with the addition of a 64 gallon wheeled recycling cart.

After reviewing the survey results, Groveport City Administrator B.J. King told Groveport City Council at its June 8 meeting he recommends the city choose to continue with the current trash collection system.

While the citizens’ survey favored keeping the existing trash service option, two council members expressed an interest in the choice that combines the existing service with the addition of the 64 gallon wheeled recycling cart.

Councilman Ed Dildine said he is not sure the options information in the online survey were spelled out clearly enough.

“I want the wheeled recycling cart with the existing trash collection option,” said Dildine. “I would recycle more that way.”

Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert agreed with Dildine stating the recycling cart would provide a lid to help keep recycling debris off the streets as the current small, green recycling tub that is provided does not have a covering.

Mayor Lance Westcamp noted previously that the city has used Local Waste Services for trash pick-up for the past 10 years.

“I think our residents like what we have now (regarding trash collection system),” said Westcamp. “People are pleased with the service. My preference is to go with the status quo (existing plan).”

Resident Bill Kurey told council at its June 8 meeting he prefers sticking with the current trash collection system.

The trash collection bids
Council is considering renewing its trash pick-up contract with Local Waste Services, however at a higher price for the 2,300 trash customers in the city.

Two companies, Local Waste Services and Rumpke, bid on the contract with Local Waste Services coming in with the lower bid. The existing contract with Local Waste Services expires Dec. 31. Under this current contract customers are paying $41.75 per quarter for trash pick-up.

A second set of trash collection contract bids and recycling service is scheduled to be opened June 25.

By renewing the contract under the same existing plan, the price with Local Waste Services would rise to $59.40 per quarter. Under the existing plan, customers are provided with a bin for recycling and they are able to use their own trash containers. Additionally, items placed out for trash pick-up, regardless if they are in a container, are collected. Pick-up includes the collection of trash, yard waste, recyclables, and bulk pick-up.

Other options
If the city opts to go with a 96 gallon trash cart option the price per quarter with Local Waste Services would be $56.40, with a 64 gallon cart it would be $53.40, and with a 48 gallon cart it would be $50.40. If a cart option (a cart is a two-wheeled trash can) is chosen, residents would receive one trash cart and one recycling cart per household.

Recycling carts are all 64 gallons. Residents could rent additional carts for $2 each per month. Trash, yard waste, and recyclables would still be picked up, but all refuse must be placed in a cart to be collected.

According to Andrew Booker of SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio), the cart based option gives customers the choice of trash cart sizes, so a residence that does not generate a lot of trash can choose a smaller cart option with its corresponding price.
Booker said the cart option allows for the fully automated collection of trash.

“The driver doesn’t have to leave the truck,” said Booker. “It’s faster service and more work can be done by fewer people. It’s more efficient.”

If the cart option is chosen, residents could no longer place their trash for pick-up in the city’s alleys because the automated trash trucks for this option are too big to fit in the alleys. All trash pick-ups would have to be made at the front of residences at curbside.

Kurey questioned this observing that if these automated trash trucks would have difficulty negotiating the alleys, how would they handle functioning in streets that have parked cars along the curbs.

Booker said bulk collection would still be available.

“For example, one bulk item, like an old couch, is allowed per week,” said Booker, who added there will be other times of the year, such as around Christmas and the Fourth of July, when more bulk items can be picked up.

According to information provided by city officials, if the city goes with the cart refuse only collection, residents must go to a website to choose the size cart they want. The city would purchase the carts and they would be delivered to a location in the city for distribution. If the city also goes with the recycling carts, SWACO would purchase the carts and they, too, would be delivered to a location in the city for distribution.

Looking ahead
Council will consider legislation regarding the new trash collection service contract at its July 13 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

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