Trustees weigh trash hauling options

by Dan Holland

June 29 virtual township trustees meeting

Richfield Township trustees discussed waste hauling and recycling options. The township is currently in the second and final extension year of a five-year contract with Rumpke for waste hauling services in conjunction with Richfield Village, explained township administrator Mindy Lott. The contract with Rumpke – a semi-automated collection program in which the company provides 65-gallon recycling containers – expires at the end of 2022.

Lott highlighted three collection options going forward: the semi-automated system currently in place, full automation in which Rumpke provides both the trash and recycling carts and a third option in which the township and village would provide both carts. The township currently pays $14.26 per household, per month for the semi-automated system.

Annual costs per household, per month – if the same service with Rumpke is chosen – would increase to $16.75 in 2023, $17.42 in 2024, $18.12 in 2025 and costs of $18.84 and $19.50 during two optional extension years. A waste-hauling quote from Kimble Companies, which was more costly when compared with Rumpke, offered a fully automated option only, she added.

The waste-hauling contract coincides with a five-year, 1.1-mill waste hauling township levy that expires at the end of the year. Lott said she anticipates the levy being placed on the spring 2023 ballot for renewal.

In a scenario with the current levy being renewed at the same rate, and not factoring in potential increases in revenues collected from the Joint Economic Development District income tax distribution and property taxes from new homes being built, Lott projected that the township could face a shortfall of $19,500 in funding for the 2025 waste hauling program.

“But hopefully, that won’t be the case; that’s going by a conservative estimate,” said Lott.

“It was quite a bit more expensive to go fully automated,” Lott told trustees. “It looks like the village is leaning toward keeping it exactly the same as what we have now. There is no need to make a choice tonight, but we have to match our choice with the village, and they will have to go through three readings of council. I’ll take the consensus back to the village and let them know which way we’re leaning.”

Trustees Janet Jankura, Robert Luther and Don Laubacher all concurred on a preference to see the semi-automated collection program with Rumpke remain in place.

“I was expecting to see far more in cost savings if we provided the containers, but that doesn’t seem to be the case,” said Laubacher. “Plus, we’ve heard from a number of residents that handling 95-gallon trash containers could be really difficult for many people. So, keeping it the same would seem to make the most sense.”

Columbia Road congestion

The trustees also discussed passing legislation to address numerous complaints about trucks parking on Columbia Road, off of Brecksville Road. Lott said the congestion seems to be due to overflow parking of trucks trying to gain entrance into the Pilot Travel Center located at 5219 Brecksville Rd. The travel center resides in the village within the JEDD, with certain portions of the area and roadway residing in the township.

Lott said she discussed the matter with Richfield Police Chief Michael Swanson, who supported the idea of passing legislation to prohibit parking on the entirety of Columbia Road within the township. Lott said she would prepare legislation to address the issue at an upcoming meeting.

“The police can enforce that with signs posted,” said Lott. “Right now, they can ask the truck drivers to leave, but there’s no teeth behind it until we pass legislation.”

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • Payment of $2,560 to Charles E. Harris & Associates for the 2020-21 procedures audit.
  • Passage of the 2023 alternative tax budget.
  • Payment of $197,725 to Barbicas Construction Company for the 2022 road paving maintenance program.
  • Payment of $2,836 to Imperial Truck Service for repair of two township vehicles.
  • Renewal of the health insurance plan with Medical Mutual for elected officials, township employees and their families, with a deductible increase from $4,000 per individual and $8,000 per family to $5,000 and $10,000 respectively. ∞