Tallmadge -- Following a public hearing, City Council authorized the mayor to enter into a contract for trash and recycling collection with Republic Waste Services.
The motion passed 6-1, with Councilman John Rensel casting the dissenting vote. Rensel, who recently returned to Council to fill the at-large position vacated by Jack Sarver, said he didn't feel he was on top of the issue enough to vote yes.
The measure to move from multiple private haulers to one city-contracted hauler was considered after it was determined 97 percent of Tallmadge residents utilize Republic while the remaining 3 percent use Huth Rubbish Service.
Benefits to the community include less traffic and wear and tear on city streets and lower (about $34 per year) rates.
To reduce customers' bills from $14.68 to $12.95 per month, Mayor Dave Kline chose to "piggy back" on the city of Barberton's public bid for a four-year contract with Republic, allowing Tallmadge to take advantage of better pricing than it would get by going out to public bid by itself.
The city's contract with Republic is set to expire at the end of the year, and after serving customers in Tallmadge for five years, no more contract extensions are available, said Kline. If the city chose not to go in on Barberton's bid, it would have had to start the bidding process again on its own, which may have resulted in a price increase for residents.
Kline said the switch to one hauler makes sense.
"You get a better rate because we can now negotiate a lower price because [the hauler now has] the entire city … ," he said.
"[The proposed monthly price decrease] isn't a lot, but the nice thing is that it's not going up," he added.
REWORKS, formerly the Summit Akron Solid Waste Management Authority, awards the city about $5,000 in grant money each year to use for something related to recycling, such as electronics recycling drives and leaf collection in the fall. If the city makes recycling mandatory for all residential customers through Republic or another company, Kline said the amount of the grant would increase to $15,000 per year -- more money to invest in the community.
Republic Waste Services Area Marketing Manager Terry Thompson said "Republic is prepared to do what it takes to get the word out" to residents.
Thompson said this may come in the form of meetings, marketing, letters, fliers, etc.
The citywide switch will be effective Jan. 1, 2014. Kline said the transition should be "seamless."
Customers will receive trash carts with a 96-gallon capacity, and larger recycling bins on wheels that accommodate 65 gallons of recyclables would replace the smaller carry-out bins that sit on the ground. Trash and recyclables collection will remain at once each week.
Editor's note: Reporter Holly Schoenstein contributed to this article.
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