Thousands of containers “abandoned” by Miami Twp.’s former trash hauler has led to “a disaster” as customers have transitioned to a new contractor, township leaders said.
The issue, officials said, has resulted in Rumpke of Ohio getting approval from Waste Management Inc. to collect more than 20 tons of its bins.
The new vendor took over this month and Waste Management cited a tight transition window in failing to round up the containers before its contract expired at the end of 2017.
“I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Waste Management was going to walk away from this contract and abandon 3,000 trash cans in the township. It is a disaster,” said township Board of Trustee President John Morris.
“It is an issue that we are addressing as best we can. But unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of good solutions – other than what we’re undertaking,” he added.
Township officials said they could not estimate the number of complaints received. But Owendale Drive resident Paul Baker said the issue has created “a mess.”
“The garbage cans are all over the place,” he said. “Half of them’s empty. Half of them’s full.”
Waste Management said it made efforts to round up the bins near the end of the year, but the holiday season and the “short transition time” were factors in the containers being left.
“Waste Management ran collection crews at the end of year to collect containers,” company Senior Public Affairs Manager Kathy Trent said via email.
“But due to the holidays, and the short transition time for communication on container collection we experienced delays in collecting all the containers,” she added.
Earlier this month Rumpke got written permission from Waste Management “to collect all trash and recycling from WMI-owned property” and remove bins from residents homes, according to the township’s website.
Rumpke had collected more than 1,000 containers as of Thursday afternoon, totaling about 22 tons, according to Jonathan Kissell, Rumpke Waste & Recycling’s communications manager.
“We believe the process may take a few weeks to complete,” he said.
Waste Management “abandoned all of the containers,” trustee Vice President Doug Barry said. “They basically left everything as is and said it’s up to you guys to figure it out.
“I applaud Rumpke for stepping up,” he added. “They had to get a waiver from Waste Management to pick up their equipment. And they worked through that and they are doing that at no cost to the township.”
New-elected Trustee Donald Culp said the township’s future contracts should contain provisions to prevent similar circumstances
Barry, and former Trustees Andrew Papanek and Eric Flasher in November approved a three-year contract with Rumpke. The new vendor submitted a lower bid garbage and recycling services than Waste Management, which had contracted with the township for years.
Township records state customers may save up to $989,100 over the life of the contract. Rumpke’s bid included options for two more years that include annual rate hikes, records show.
Township records show customers will be billed $12.75 a month for the first three years of the contract. If a fourth-year option is extended, the monthly charge would increase to $13.26 and a fifth-year option would rise to $13.79 a month, records show.
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