Trash talk from Greenville City Council


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILE – Rumpke, Inc. submitted the only bid for solid waste removal in the City of Greenville. Greenville City Council learned the details of the bid and had an opportunity to ask questions of Dusty Yingst, a Rumpke representative, at its Sept. 6 regular meeting.

Rumpke offered a bid to match the current service and an alternate bid that would simplify the collection process for the company.

Currently, residents have the option of a trash tote or the use of special trash bags and a recycling bin. Residents must also purchase a yard waste sticker for grass clippings and bundles of sticks. If Greenville City Council accepts this bid, residents can expect to pay an increase of two percent on the tote and three percent more for the bags. This would be a one-year contract with an option for a one-year extension. The contract would allow Rumpke to raise rates up to three percent if the option is picked up.

One of the differences from previous years is that Rumpke would do away with the yard waste stickers. Yingst shared the facility in Greenville does not have the ability to separate yard waste. The waste would need to be included as part of the normal trash service in a tote or the authorized trash bags.

The alternate bid would do away with the trash bag option and everyone that uses the Rumpke service would be required to get a tote. There are several sizes of totes available that could fit the residents’ needs.

Ryan Delk, safety service director for the city, started to share that residents could no longer use the alleys and would need to put their waste on the street, but was quickly interrupted by Yingst. The Rumpke representative said his company is currently experimenting with different trucks to see if the alleys can still be automated. If they can’t, they will continue to provide the service in the alley as it is currently offered.

If council chooses to approve the alternate bid and go to the automated system, residents could see a decrease in their current bills. The 95-gallon waste hauler price would decrease by approximately $3 a month.

Another difference between the two bids is that bulk pick-up would be decreased to once a month. Residents are currently able to place bulk items at the curb once a week. The items must be wrapped in plastic.

According to Delk, one-third of residents do not have a tote or purchase bags. This figure was concerning to Council President John Baumgardner. “I think the sole purpose wasn’t to better our trash services,” said Baumgardner. “It’s to get every person in the city using the service. I don’t know if this really fixes anything getting those 35-40 percent of people that are not using the trash service or illegally using it.” He expressed his concern with people that are illegally dumping their trash in a business dumpster or storing it in their garage. He continued, “Not necessarily bring it in house or have Rumpke do it. I think the whole reason we were looking at this was to better that situation.” He pointed to a mattress in an alley that’s been there for the last several weeks. “I challenge all of the council members to think through as to how we can clean up the city,” Baumgardner said.

Council member Leon Rogers responded, “I don’t think, regardless of what you do, you could give it to them for free and I think they would still end up dumping things that wasn’t supposed to be in garages, basements or wherever.”

Delk admitted the city did see an increase in illegal dumping during COVID and Rumpke stepped up its trash removal in the park during that time. The city has cameras in the park to catch those who dump their trash illegally and send a police officer out to give a warning. If caught again, the person will receive a citation.

Rumpke also recognizes the need for additional services during events and has agreed to provide additional totes and service during special events to help clean up the city faster. This will help save the city money because they won’t need to pay overtime to city employees to come in and empty trash cans after an event.

Greenville City Council now has 90 days to determine if they want to continue with Rumpke’s service and which bid they want to accept or if they want to bring the waste service in-house. The new contract will not begin until April 2023.

Council also approved an ordinance concerning unauthorized encampments on public and/or private property, as it tends to endanger the health and safety of those engaged in such camping, as well as the general public. Rogers asked if this ordinance was in relationship to keeping the underneath of bridges “cleaned out” in the city. Baumgardner responded with yes.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

No posts to display