County-wide curbside recycling under discussion

Bethel could host pilot program

The Bethel Village Council has an opportunity to provide residents with curbside recycling pick up at no charge in 2011.

The Bethel waste removal contract with Rumpke Inc. expires Dec. 31 and Rumpke has asked the village to consider participating in a pilot program for curbside recycling. The Adams Clermont Solid Waste District asked Rumpke for a cost estimate for county-wide curbside recycling in an attempt to curtail the $100,000 a year cost of managing the recycling bins currently placed throughout the county. ACSWD director Paul Braasch said the recycling bins have become very popular and as a result Rumpke has had to empty them more frequently, which raises costs for the district. He said providing curbside recycling county-wide is one option the ACSWD board is considering to ensure they are efficiently spending the waste generation fee they received on each ton of garbage in the county. He said discussion is in the very early stages.

“It’s a trial run to determine if it’s feasible down the road for the Adams Clermont Solid Waste District,” Rumpke municipal and public sector representative Brett Gaspard said. “They want to see if it would be more cost effective and better serving to their customers and if it will reduce their reliance on drop boxes.”

Gaspard said Rumpke was uncertain what costs would be associated with curbside recycling and what participation rates would be in the county. The Bethel pilot program will allow Rumpke to collect some data on the issue.

The Bethel program would provide a 95 gallon recycling can, similar to the current waste can, to any Bethel waste pickup customer who would like one. The bins would be used for every type of recyclable material. Gaspard said recyclables would likely be picked up on a monthly basis, which reduces the financial burden to the users and the cost to the environment. Rumpke said in addition to offering the recycling program at no cost to the village or its residents they are willing to extend the village’s current waste removal contract at its current rates.

The large recycling bins will remain in Bethel even if council does opt into the pilot program in order to monitor the change in use of the bins with the addition of curbside recycling. They will also continue to serve area businesses and Tate Township.

Bethel has already begun advertising for bids for its waste collection, however the village council did discuss the program and public works committee chair Tim Cherry recommended the approval of Rumpke’s proposal.

“I think it sets an example to our children in the community who have learned about recycling through the schools,” Councilman Janice Ireton said.

Several communities have offered curbside recycling without the involvement of the ACSWD. Amelia has discontinued its program. Currently the Village of Batavia operates a subscription curbside recycling service with financial assistance from the village. Union Township and Miami Township both offer subscription curbside recycling. Gaspard the western townships were close enough to a city to justify a recycling pick up route.

Braasch said county-wide curbside recycling is not in Clermont County’s near future.

“This is purely exploratory. No commitments have been made,” Gaspard said. “We hope Bethel will sign on to the program and if Bethel likes it, if the residents like it we will work to continue the program.”

He said Rumpke would be willing to provide curbside recycling to the Village of Bethel regardless of the decision made by the ACSWD. Bethel was chosen for the pilot program because they had expressed interest in recycling and their contract was due for a renewal.