COVINGTON — Low-volume trash and dumpster services could become a reality next year, as Covington Council discussed implementing those two new programs in an updated trash and recycling ordinance proposed during their meeting on Monday evening.
The council held the first reading of the proposed ordinance, which also included a rate increase of $1 to the monthly recycling fee, raising it from $2.50 to $3.50, effective in September. Additional rate increases of 50 cents — 25 cents to the monthly trash fee and 25 cents to the monthly recycling fee — would also be applied each July from 2019 to 2022.
A low-volume trash program would also be implemented in July 2019, offering interested residents the option of using one 48-gallon-size trash toter. The beginning rate would be $14.75 per month. That cost would be $2 cheaper than the regular monthly fee for trash would be in July 2019, as the trash fee would be increased to $16.75 at that time. The toter for low-volume trash customers would also be half the size of the regular 96-gallon trash toters.
“It is not age-based,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said about the proposed low-volume trash program. “If you can get by with a smaller can and you don’t set your trash on the outside of the can — everything has to go inside the can, just the same as it does with the big one — then you can get trash for $2 a month cheaper.”
Council member Bud Weer later asked if this discount was only for trash, and Busse said that it was. “It’s for trash only because we already offer the small cans for recycling,” he said. “We don’t offer a discount for a smaller can (for recycling).”
Busse said that there were a couple reasons that the village is not anticipating offering a discount for smaller containers of recycling. “One is we’re not really covering our recycling costs today, and the other thing is, we want people to recycle. Ideally, what we would like to have is, we would like everybody to have a big recycling can and a small trash can.”
Busse said that vision may not be realistic, but a low-volume trash program is something that customers have previously asked about.
“There is an expectation that some people can easily get by with a 48-gallon trash container, and that’s something that’s been asked kind of over and over by people that come in,” Busse said. He added that some communities do a bag system for low-volume trash programs, but the village’s trash program is not set up to accommodate a bag system.
Customers who opt for the low-volume trash service also can only have one trash container. The village offers current trash customers a second 96-gallon trash container at an additional $5 per month fee.
Later on, resident Kathy Miller asked if customers who do not have or use a recycling toter still get charged the recycling fee, and Busse said that they do.
“It’s a mandatory program for the village of Covington,” Busse said. “Not because we decided it, but because the state of Ohio decided that Miami County has to have a mandatory program, and Miami County has decided that municipalities have to have a mandatory program. Because the county itself has to meet to certain goals for recycling, and if they don’t meet those goals, then they lose out on funding opportunities.”
Busse said that the village has a recycling program “because it’s the right thing to do,” but he went on to explain that “Covington couldn’t just decide tomorrow to do away with their recycling program because they didn’t want to do it anymore.” He said that the county has certain goals that they have to meet, and as Covington is a municipality in this county, Covington has to have this program.
“It’s all about promoting recycling to try to not fill up landfills,” Busse said. “Because someday, the landfills are going to get full.”
The council also discussed the implementation of a dumpster program, which would presumably replace the 300-gallon containers that the village is currently using at businesses and some apartment complexes.
Busse explained that the village will need to purchase a new trash truck within the next couple of years, as the truck that the village purchased used from Muncie, Indiana, approximately four years ago is on its last leg.
“It was used heavily before we bought it, and we knew that,” Busse said. “When we replace that truck, the new truck will probably not be capable of tipping those 300-gallon containers.”
The village originally purchased those containers because the piece of equipment that they owned could already handle them, but now the village is looking to move toward a dumpster service instead. “We already have a truck that’s capable of doing dumpsters,” Busse said.
The proposed ordinance would implement the dumpster service in January 2019. For the period between January 2019 and the end of June 2019, the monthly rates would be $60.25 for a two-yard dumpster and $95.75 for a four-yard dumpster. Those rates would be for one pickup per week and would double for two pickups per week.
Between July 2019 and the end of June 2020, the monthly rates would increase to $62.05 for a two-yard dumpster and $98.35 for a four-yard dumpster. The monthly rates would continue to have small $1 to $3 increases each year through June 2023.
Busse also offered a cost comparison to dumpster fees offered through Rumpke and Waste Management. According to Busse, Rumpke’s monthly fees for a two-yard dumpster and a four-yard dumpster are $74.06 and $106.13, respectively, and Waste Management’s fees are $116 and $157, respectively.
“In conversation with (Mayor) Mr. McCord, the idea behind this is for us to be able to make money, to not to lose money on it because we can’t afford to lose money … but also to save residents and businesses money in the village,” Busse said.
The cost of buying the dumpsters would be approximately $595 for each two-yard dumpster and approximately $755 for each four-yard dumpster.
In other news:
The council held the second reading of a resolution authorizing a special assessment levy for the purpose of paying the cost of lighting the streets in the village of Covington for the year 2019.
“This is not an increase over last year,” Mayor Ed McCord said.
The council also held the second reading of a resolution requesting the director of transportation in the state of Ohio to modify the speed limits on High Street.
“This request is to reduce the legal speed between Dodd Street and Walnut Street to 25 miles an hour,” McCord said.
The council later held the first reading of a resolution authorizing a special assessment to recover the village’s share of the cost of demolishing the house at 137 N. High St.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org