The suspension of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District’s recycling program was the main topic of discussion at Thursday’s Scioto County Commissioner meeting.
With LSSWMD Director Dan Palmer in attendance, both Palmer and Commissioner Mike Crabtree were able to shed some light on the situation. In a notice released on Oct. 31, the district stated that they were in negotiations for a new contract, and would be forced to discontinue the recycling program until the contract is ratified.
“We are in negotiations right now, they started yesterday and are finishing up today, but all 39 sites will be closed, and that’s 94 containers being removed. We hope to get this resolved, but don’t want to go into specific details until we get this settled,” said Palmer. Palmer asked that the public have patience and understanding as the District works to resolve the contract issues.
According to Palmer the new contract will be for a two-year period, and the situation the District is dealing with came suddenly and as a surprise due to the existing contract with Republic Services not expiring for another year.
“What they have done is actually breached the contract over a year early, over a money issue. Nothing that we’ve done, but because they don’t want to live with the terms of a contract they agreed to. It’s about money,” said Chair of Commissioners Mike Crabtree. “Rumpke is wanting to increase their fee by close to 100%, double their fee which would be somewhere near $200,000.”
Palmer stated that the parcel fee was just raised at the beginning of the year due to EPA mandates, which hurts tremendously. “The trouble like EPA stated was that in Southern Ohio you have no competition,” said Palmer.
“So they can pretty much do whatever they want and that’s what they intend to do. Unfortunately government and government agencies that are on fixed funding. The only way you can keep providing a service is money, and what they’re trying to do would force Scioto as well as Lawrence County to have to increase the fee just to make up what they’re wanting, which is a huge amount of money. Really what they want isn’t within Dan’s [Palmer] budget to pay. We’re going to have to try and work with them to work out whatever we can do with the funding we have. So, that might be less dumpsters or whatever it takes to make it work. We’re not going to stop the program, but the reality is that he has to work within the budget,” said Crabtree. “Right now they’ve got the upper hand and they’re trying to use it”
Crabtree stated that he uses Rumpke Services at home, but he is going to change that. “I would strongly encourage other people within the county to look at who is picking up their garbage, because they’re not being too kind to the district or the tax payers of Scioto County,” stated Crabtree.
“They’re either going to have to give a little or we’re going to have to cut back on what we do. And if you take a look at some of these sites we could use twice as many dumpsters as we’ve got. But you can only pay for so many, and it looks like right now Rumpke is unwilling to budge an inch and Republic has walked out on the contract that they agreed too.”
The contract has been handed over to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office for review to determine what further action, if any, can be taken.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932