New receptacles aimed at curbing litter, reducing trash fees

New 96-gallon trash carts will be rolled out to city residences and more than 100 businesses starting the week of March 16 at no extra cost to rate payers as part of the city’s recently renegotiated contract with Rumpke.

Delivery of the new carts will take place over the course of several weeks until all residences have them. Then, as of Aug. 1, the city-issued Rumpke trash carts will be the only way for residents to dispose of their trash. Items placed in bags or non-city issue containers will not be collected.

“We want to give people the opportunity to adjust their trash disposal so that it’s not a hard and fast rule immediately,” said Richard Engle, the city’s director of public works.

Residents may continue to dispose of two large items such as furniture and appliances each week by contacting Rumpke at least 24 hours before scheduled collection times.

Hamilton will be the first Butler County city to offer the carts to residents and businesses, Engle said.

“It’s going to reduce litter, keep all of the household trash contained in a container to prevent animals from tearing open the plastic bags, keep the streets cleaner,” Engle said.

City officials also hope the new containers will spur residents into thinking about what items are trash and what are recycling, which would then increase recycling totals.

Doing so would decrease the amount of actual trash collected, which would be beneficial to Hamilton and its residents, Engle said.

“Rumpke has more diversion into recycling as a revenue for them, so as we divert more into recycling and take less trash to the landfill, Rumpke has agreed to revisit that and evaluate it and possibly give us a rate reduction in the future,” he said.

City officials made the request to Rumpke as a follow-up to Hamilton’s initial effort to provide recycling carts to customers in 2012.

“Through the city’s ordinance review committee, which is a collection of council members of citizens of the community, they believed strongly that the next step was to provide trash carts and to start to clean up the city’s streets during trash days, in particular,” Engle said.

More than 100 commercial business on Rumpke’s current business collection list also will receive the new trash carts.

Each container is blue and has the city’s logo emblazoned on the side and a list of what types of trash are suggested for disposal via the cart versus what might be recycled.

The containers allow for faster, safer, more efficient trash collection, according to Rumpke spokeswoman Molly Yeager.

“These (new carts) hook up to our trucks,” Yeager said. “It allows our driver to hook it up to a winch on the back of the truck and lift that into the back, so it’s less labor intensive on our employees. Since the drivers make anywhere from 500 to 800 stops a day, lifting all those bags can really add up.”

Making his rounds in Hamilton on Thursday, Rumpke sanitation engineer Brandon Stanifer agreed. “There is a lot less lifting,” Stanifer said. “The truck does all the work.”

Not having to worry about bags ripping open also means greatly reducing, if not eliminating, any possibility of being cited for trash strewn about one’s yard, Engle said.

Rate increases related to cost of service, but not the new trash carts, won’t start until 2016, Engle said. Each year’s rate increase is an additional 30 cents.

Collection fees cover not only residential or commercial trash pickup, but also pickup of trash at receptacles on the street, in parks and inside city facilities.

The renegotiated contract also, in an effort to increase the number of city customers using the Municipal Transfer Station to dispose of solid waste, reduces by 25 percent the disposal rates for city customers at that facility.

The balance is set to be paid by Hamilton using a city refuse fund up to a maximum of $75,000.

Two communities in Hamilton County employ the same trash-cart only policy, the village of Golf Manor, which switched to it in 2013, and the city of Montgomery, which switched to the system in 2004.

“It more or less helped reduce the cost of trash collection from what it was before,” said Susan Hamm, Montgomery’s administrative coordinator and clerk of council. “It does help your neighborhood to look better because you do have a consistent look throughout (the city).”

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