Friday, July 27, 2018

City renews trash-collection contract with Rumpke; rates will rise 15.4% for residents, 29.6% for businesses

Rumpke containers on Main Street (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
By Sarah Ladd
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media

The Midway City Council voted unanimously at a special meeting Friday to renew the city's contract with Rumpke Waste & Recycling.

The council recently extended its contract with Rumpke to seek another bidder for the city's garbage collection needs, an action that Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said at Friday's meeting was to make the bid competitive. "We weren't comfortable approving a new contract for four years without a second bidder," he said. "So, we accomplished what we set out to do by getting a second bidder."

The other bid came from Republic Services. Vandegrift said CKY was also interested in the contract, but could not make the route at this time. He told the council that they would be interested in the bid in the future.

Rumpke offered rates of $14.95 monthly for residential users, who get one pickup per week; and $35 monthly for two commercial pickups a week. The current rates are $12.95 and $27.

"Rumpke’s bid improved after we extended the contract to get a second bidder," Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said after the meeting. "Their original offer was $16 residential and $40 commercial."

The rates the council accepted will be increases of 15.4 percent for residential and 29.6 percent for commercial. Vandegrift said the rates are "easy to swallow" because they will be locked in for four years; China is reluctant to accept as much recycled material as it once did, increasing prices here; and trade conflicts have caused uncertainty in the steel and aluminum markets. "The garbage rate increase will be far outweighed by our forthcoming lowering of property taxes and sewer rates," the mayor said.
Council Member Steve Simoff said before the vote, "With the service that Rumpke puts out, it's hard to turn them down."

Vandegrift said after the vote that the council will hear ordinances at the next two council meetings to see how the city needs to update its billing to accommodate the new contract. But, he said, "This worked out very well for us."

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