Over the past few weeks, Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz and the North Royalton City Council have been discussing the options for rubbish/recycling removal. The current contract with Rumpke Waste and Recycling Services will expire on May 1.
Council originally discussed the options with the Mayor after the bid openings on February 28 produced only one bidder, Rumpke. The bids included the following options: Automated Collection of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials Weekly; Automated Collection of Solid Waste Weekly and Recyclable Materials Bi-Weekly; Manual Collection of Solid Waste and Automated Collection of Recyclable Materials Weekly; and Manual Collection of Solid Waste Weekly and Automated Collection of Recyclable Materials Bi-Weekly. Council narrowed the options down to the two weekly option.
Under the current contract, Rumpke has been manually collecting the solid waste rubbish, with the recyclable material being collected in an automated method. That contract started in 2017 as a five year contract with a two year option, which brings it up to April 30, 2024. The total annual cost of the previous five year contract was $7,700,927.
Two ordinances proposing the five-year contracts were introduced at the March 20 City Council Meeting. One ordinance accepted the Rumpke Bid for Automated Collection of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials Weekly for an amount not to exceed $12,416,357.26. The second piece of legislation was an ordinance accepting the bid of Rumpke for Manual Collection of Solid Waste and Automated Collection of Recyclable Materials Weekly at a cost not to exceed $12,676,397.26. Both measures were placed on second reading for further discussion. Antoskiewicz pointed out that if Council chose the fully automated option, that residents could still place additional waste in other receptacle, if it didn’t all fit into the provided automated receptacle. “They will pick up anything extra, like in fall for leaves or during the holidays, when people have more trash,” he said.
Ward 6 Councilman Mike Wos said that he personally liked having fully automated, where residents would be provided with a bin similar to the current recycling bins. There was discussion about allowing residents who didn’t want the larger bin to have an option of a smaller one. He went on to say that most residents that he communicated with wanted to keep the same set up as is currently being done. Ward 3 Council Rep Joanne Krejci said that she had an overwhelming response in keeping it the way it is, or the less expensive method.
At the March 20 Finance Committee meeting, Finance Director Jenny Eserey distributed the financial breakdown of the proposed contracts. She noted that pricing is mixed every year because the contract starts in May vs January, so it overlaps the fiscal year. “This year is less because we’re working off of an old contract for four months, but starting next year, it’s quite a substantial increase.” She then noted that “for next year’s budget, that’s going to be some sort of impact on our budget.” She then asked Council if they wanted to look at a rubbish fee for residents. Council is expected to vote on the measure in April.
Antoskiewicz said that “at this point, I believe we have to look at it this way: continue to do things the way we’ve been doing it, look at the budget and see where we can come up with the money. In the past years we have purchased a lot of equipment and done a lot of roads, but we don’t want to fall behind. We’ll figure it out. We’ll balance the budget, and we’ll see where it all plays out. . . . It’s something to consider.” Ward 1 Council Rep John Nickell noted that “many cities around us has it. The sad fact is we’ll have to make choices.” Wos noted that “we have money in the general fund – not like Strongsville – but we’re ok.” Antoskiewicz noted, “just so we’re clear, we’re ok with that. Come budget time, we’ll figure it out. .. So Council understands, we may have to spend less in other areas. No one wants to charge the residents any more.” Ward 5 Council Rep Heidi Weber said, “I’ve always paid for trash. When the rubber meets the road, you may have to look at that.” Rubbish collection has been paid through tax dollars, except during the Orange Bag or Buck-a-Bag program, which took place for a short time in the mid-1990s.

Contributing Writer