The Marthasville Board of Aldermen voted March 15 to grant another three-year trash hauling contract to Meridian Waste, which will include a rate increase for city residents while also giving up …
The Marthasville Board of Aldermen voted March 15 to grant another three-year trash hauling contract to Meridian Waste, which will include a rate increase for city residents while also giving up residential recycling service.
Meridian’s contract proposal was the cheaper of two trash haulers who competed for Marthasville’s three-year contract. Meridian submitted a monthly fee of $13.95 per home for residents to have their trash collected in smaller 65-gallon bins, or $14.95 if they want to keep their current 95-gallon bins.
That fee would scale up each year to a monthly cost of $15.38 (65 gallon) or $16.38 (95 gallon) per home by 2025.
Competitor Grace Hauling, meanwhile, submitted a bid of $20.98 per home in monthly fees for the larger 95-gallon trash bins, rising to $22.26 per month by 2025.
Commenting that both trash hauling contracts are an increase from what city residents currently pay, but that Meridian’s bid was significantly lower, Marthasville aldermen voted 3-0 to grant Meridian the contract. Alderman Nick Lange was absent.
On the matter of the size of trash bins, Mayor David Lange stated that the city’s contract does not allow for variable pricing based on cart size. Meridian needs to provide one size cart at one price, Lange said.
Meridian manager Barbie Russo, who attended the March 15 meeting, replied that that policy will require Meridian to round up all of the company’s 95-gallon bins currently in Marthasville, and replace them all with 65-gallon bins. She said the company will do so if that is the city’s position.
The new $13.95 fee will be a slight jump from what residents currently pay. Trash hauling contracts are typically structured to increase in cost over time, but just as a point of comparison, Meridian’s new fee of $13.95 per month is about $6 more than the $8 monthly fee the company charged when it received its previous contract three years ago, and that new amount is for smaller trash bins.
Mayor Lange also asked the aldermen to continue assessing an administrative fee on residential trash bills in order to pay for the staff time and postage required for city clerks to manage residential trash billing. Lange requested a monthly fee of $3 per home, which the aldermen agreed to with a 3-0 vote.
That will bring residential trash bills up to a total of $16.95 starting in June.
Aldermen also chose to drop recycling service from Marthasville’s trash hauling contract, although the board members were reluctant to do so. They decided to cut the service because of the large cost increase that residents would have to absorb under the new proposals.
The two companies submitted nearly identical cost proposals for residents who want to opt into recycling service, with Grace Hauling at $16.89 per month and Meridian at $16.27 per month.
Either of those would be a huge increase from about $4.50 per month that residents pay now, said Mayor Lange. Only about 20% of Marthasville residents choose to recycle as-is, and Lange predicted that number would plummet further with such a large cost increase.
Because it isn’t economically feasible for trash companies to provide recycling service to such a small number of people in a remote community, Lange said Marthasville residents might have to resign themselves to taking their recycling to regional recycling centers in Warren and Franklin counties.
“A lot of people love to recycle, but I think we’re gonna have to let them go on their own,” Lange commented, noting that many people also have trouble following the instructions for proper recycling.
Alderman Gary Dixon agreed that dropping recycling service is necessary, but regrettable.
“I hate to see it go away, but a lot of people really won’t want to pay that extra price,” Dixon commented. “My family are true believers in recycling.”
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