Huber residents to pay more for trash after Rumpke nixes bid citing worker shortage

Republic chosen for Huber Heights trash services

Huber Heights extended its current waste collection contract with a price increase for residents after Rumpke Waste & Recycling suggested council reject its lower-cost bid because of a shortage of workers.

“It’s very difficult right now to find qualified drivers and personnel to be able to do the work and do it well,” said Jake Rumpke, who is a direct descendent of the founder of the company.

He said it was too short of a timeline to find dedicated workers for Huber Heights and do a good job.

“Right now, with it being a two-month process from basically Monday until when the start date would be, I do not feel confident that we will be able to hire on and train six dedicated drivers that will be able to service the community how it needs to be serviced,” he said.

City council approved moving forward with a five-year contract, starting in July, with Republic Services. The first year will be $14.54 per month, which includes weekly trash pickup, biweekly recycling, a 10% senior discount and no fuel surcharge, said interim city manager Scott Falkowski.

More details will be mailed to residents soon, according to the city council. Republic worked with Huber Heights previously and the contract was $11.19 per month.

Rumpke, who spoke at a May 18 city council work session, said it is currently difficult for them to get workers hired. When they initially submitted the bid, he said the labor market was not quite as strained as it is now.

“I don’t want to ruin a potential future relationship with the city of Huber Heights, with everybody here, with the people in the community, because of the situation that’s going on right now,” Rumpke said. “Because of that, Rumpke is amenable to the city rejecting our bid from the process, if that’s the right thing for the for the city to do.”

Mayor Jeff Gore commended Rumpke for his honesty.

“I’m very appreciative that you came here to speak tonight to this council to explain that situation, rather than find ourselves in a decision that we’ve made that ended up turning south for lots of people,” Gore said.

A representative for Republic, who did not give his name, noted there is a shortage of licensed truck drivers at the same May 18 meeting.

A spokesman for Republic said in an email that Republic was not experiencing a worker shortage.

“While not currently impacted by the worker shortage, Republic is always recruiting and hiring great people to join our local teams and help us grow the communities we serve,” the spokesman said.

Gayane Makaryan, a spokesman for Rumpke, said in recent months, Rumpke has experienced a decrease in applicants. She said the company is offering competitive pay and benefits.

“The strained labor market is an industry-wide issue,” she said. “We are hopeful that we will continue to attract and retain exceptional employees for not only our Dayton region, but throughout the entire company.”

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