July 25, 2014

Elyria
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Republic Services removes trash cans in townships

Some township residents in Lorain County are being left holding the bag when it comes to December trash pickup.

Officials in Brighton, Amherst and Eaton townships have reported hearing from residents about Republic Services taking away waste and recyclable carts, which is forcing residents to use plastic bags for trash through the end of the year.

“We’re getting calls all the time asking what’s going on,” Brighton Township Fiscal Officer Marilyn L. Siekeres said. “It’s pretty stinky on their (Republic) part to start three weeks early.”

Rumpke of Ohio Inc., a Cincinnati-based company that will take over trash collection as of Jan. 1 under a new five-year contract for thousands of households in 11 townships, Rochester, Sheffield and Avon Lake, is starting to deliver its own trash and recycling carts, but those cannot be used until it starts pickups.

It isn’t immediately clear how many households are temporarily without trash containers during the transition.

Eaton Township administrative assistant and Solid Waste Coordinator Richard Knechtges said residents have been calling with questions about what to do, as have those in Amherst Township where Trustee Neil Lynch and others have fielded calls expressing frustration with the transition despite efforts to explain the process in a recently mailed township newsletter.

Both Lynch and Siekeres said Republic didn’t communicate its cart-collection plans to residents.

“Unless you called them, you didn’t know what was going on. Some people thought their carts had been stolen,” Lynch said.

Eric VanHouten, Republic general manager for Lorain County, said postcards were mailed to Republic customers within the consortium area notifying them of the company’s cessation of service as of Dec. 31.

The notices let customers know Republic would retrieve its trash receptacles during the month, after which trash and recyclables would have to be set out in black and blue plastic bags, respectively.

“We physically can’t do it all at the end of the month,” VanHouten said of the cart collection. “This is the largest cart removal we’ve ever experienced.”

Republic expects to collect thousands of waste and recycling containers throughout December.

The changeover has been made more confusing because an unknown number of Republic customers have received bills for three months of service extending to mid-February.

VanHouten said such bills were clearly mistakes and can be cleared up by calling Republic’s customer service line at (800) 433-1309 or with a visit to www.republicservices.com.

“Our customers should only have been billed for November and December,” VanHouten said Friday. “Sometimes it’s not always clear which customers are part of the consortium and which aren’t due to the fact routes go between townships and other areas.”

Rumpke officials could not be reached for comment Friday, but a notice at the company’s website said the firm’s Cincinnati home offices were closed due to severe winter weather in the area.

Rumpke projects beginning service for its new Lorain County customers between Jan. 2 and 7.

The company expects to deliver nearly 18,000 95-gallon brown trash carts and 65-gallon green recycling carts, according to the online notice.

Terms of the new contract call for Rumpke to charge $53.25 per quarter for weekly residential waste and recyclable pickup.

The figure is more than $11 below the bid submitted by Republic, which previously served most of the area now under the consortium.

Lynch urged anyone with questions about Rumpke’s start-up of service to call its Cleveland customer service department at (800) 828-8171. People can also visit www.rumpke.com.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • susan hill brown

    I was under the impression that Avon Lake would continue using Republic. Can someone clear this up for me?

  • Ray Venn

    Where’s Mr. Kidder on this one?

    Residents should sue for breech of contract. Trash collection included providing receptacles. If they’re not providing what they’re contracted to provide, then take them to court.

    But what do you expect from Re”puke”lik?

    • tickmeoff

      Use some common sense Ray. They lost the contract and need to pick up their containers. It is no hardship for customers to use plastic bags till the new containers come in from Rumpke. Going to court is a ridiculous idea, put yourself in republic’s shoes and you would be singing a different tune.

      Your comment reminds me of a selfish teenager, not an adult. Logistically it would be a nightmare to have Republic do it the way you want it done. Ray you have no idea of the costs involved, and no appreciation of the other persons point of view or their costs. Republic needs to recover these containers. Those containers don’t come cheap.
      You have no sense of fair play, and running to court is the point of last
      resort. Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.

      Republic lost the contract.
      don’t kick a company while it’s down.Republic has
      the right to recover it’s investment in these containers, and to do it in the most economically cost efficient way possible. I wouldn’t want you managing my company. We would be running to court alright, Bankruptcy court perhaps!

      • oldruss

        Having a rolling cart was part and parcel of the bargain that Republic agreed to provide to its customers. Having to carry trash bags out to the curb, instead of being able to roll a cart out IS an inconvenience. We paid for a specified service, and Republic, just like during the work-stoppage, is failing to live up to its end of the contract. Republic knew that its contract was for a set period of time, and that if and when it was displaced by another carrier, its containers would have to be picked-up. That was part of Republic’s business operations plan, and for which Republic has been charging all of us. Now, Republic is failing to provide a service that is part and parcel of the contract Republic has with the townships it serves, and part and parcel of each and every individual contract Republic has with its customers, who are being left high and dry. That is most certainly actionable in a court of law. Any attorneys from the plaintiffs’ bar want to take up a class action suit for a small cut of the proverbial pie?

        • Bob Owens

          I am inclined to agree with you on this one.

      • Ray Venn

        Re”puke”lick lost the contract…no wait…their UNION lost the contract.

        Kick a multimillion dollar monopoly when they’re down??? What a joke.

        The early removal of equipment needed to get the job done in a sanitary fashion and safely in my opinion was just a needle to the eye to the townships that exercised their right to choose nothing more.

        What they should have done was to have a vehicle follow the garbage truck on the LAST day of pickup and after the cans are emptied, then and only then remove them from service.

        If I was to put myself in Republic’s shoes, I would make a genuine effort to determine the truthful cause of the termination, make that information known, own up to the issue or issues and make a honest effort to make sure it doesn’t happen again…ANYWHERE.

        I certainly would not enter onto someone’s property unannounced and uninvited and remove something that is supposed to be there.

        Imagine Time Warner coming to get your remote to the cable box two weeks early because you cancelled your service. Hey, you can still change the channel on the box but Time Warner needed the remotes in another city…right…

        • tickmeoff

          You are seeing this from one point of view. What is best for you. 99.99% of most human beings would feel like you do. You are still getting your garbage hauled away. What are you proposing is a logistical nightmare. Even when the carts were first rolled out, not everybody got them at once. It happened over weeks or months. Don’t forget you do avoid having to store 4 containers, Republic and Rumpke, or having to complain when you have four containers. At the end of the day, the garbage is still being hauled away.

          • oldruss

            Yes, but the CONTRACT between Republic and each homeowner in the townships provided that Republic supply a rolling cart for trash and a rolling cart for recyclables. Republic has already charged us, in advance, for service through December 31st, and we have paid that charge. Is Republic going to give us a rebate?

          • Ray Venn

            but what you fail to realize or comprehend is that prior to Re”puke”lic issuing the cans people had their OWN cans for trash. Those cans kept animals from making the village look like a dump. With them arbitrarily taking the cans they are contractually obligated to provide they are possibly causing an unsafe and unsanitary condition. Do you expect residents to purchase a new garbage can for 3 weeks?

            What I proposed is operationally feasible for Re”puke”lic…a MULTIMILLION dollar corporation.

      • Melanie Lovell Innes

        Republic does not have to pick up their receptacles in December. And they have a week to do it after the last pick up in December, if they are worried about it. It is an inconvenience, especially with the recycle cans, as I don’t have blue bags laying around, and not everyone carries them. Republic should take the cost off my bill. Now they will be paying 2 guys to be on the truck, one to drive, and one to get the bags, for the rest of the month. Unless of course, they will be having 1 guy do it all like they do on “big stuff” pick up days. I saw 1 guy have to struggle to get a couch in the truck by himself. Plus they are paying the guys picking up the cans. Regardless of when they do it, they will get done, so they should have done it right. They leave a sour taste in my mouth how they offer to lower the price AFTER the fact that we are switching to a new hauler. What is with the big companies? They ALL do this….when you are ready to switch over, they want to help you out. Too bad they don’t appreciate their customers while they have them.

        • Melanie Lovell Innes

          Oh and BTW, I will be running out as fast as I can to rescue (keep) my recycle bin, so I can keep it until the end of the month, for which I have ALREADY paid for!!!

          • riderohio

            According to Mr. VanHouten there will be no recycling the rest of the month. Anything put out in blue bags or the green cans will end up in the dump with the rest of the garbage. I suggest all of you who are unhappy about how this was handled call him – 458-3210. Number obtained from the Lorain County Solid Waste Management office.

  • riderohio

    As one of the residents who experienced the surprise of my blue can disappearing this past week I can say with certainty that the so called postcards Mr. VanHouten claims were sent out were not received by me and at least 3 of my neighbors. From the sounds of the article many people did not receive the postcards alerting them to the early removal of the cans. As of this writing I still have not seen their postcard. Sounds like someone at Republic dropped the ball on the postcards.

    It would have been nice to know since I initially thought my can had been stolen. Only after driving up and down my road did I realize that all the blue cans were gone. After speaking to customer service at Republic I learned that I could put out my bags but they wanted black bags. Tough for them – I will be putting out the white bags I always use. Not spending extra for 3 weeks, or for their convenience. Also found out that recycling was finished as well – it is all going into the dump even if you put it out in blue bags.

    I spoke with Mr. VanHouten, who told me white bags were fine. Um, that is not what he told the author of the article. My green can was emptied but not removed. Since I no longer have any old cans to put out I think I will place my WHITE bags in my GREEN can next week with the lid open so they can see the bags and turned around from the normal placement since they have to get off the truck to pick up the bags anyway.

    Yes I believe they have violated the contract they had with all the residents but going to court costs money, which I do not have for such a small issue. I am now glad Republic did not get the contract as it seems they have been price gouging for several years.

    Good riddance to Republic.

    • Melanie Lovell Innes

      I cleaned my basement, garage, and everywhere else I could just so I can haul it out with one big swoop. Idiots! As far as bag color, they will get what I have.

  • wahoo99

    Folks do not worry about the cans. Put your garbage out as normal because how many trucks does Republic have that are not automated? Republic will have to worry about the after Christmas pickups. In 2019 the entire process will start over again. (I wonder if republic is going to buyout Rumpke?)

    • riderohio

      I hope not. Republic has been overcharging for some time. If the competition is bought out they will have free reign to do it again.