Marietta officials review bids for new trash hauling contract

Marietta City Council’s special utilities committee had a first look at bids for the city’s trash hauling contract Thursday. The current contract with Rumpke Inc. expires June 30.

Safety-service director Jonathan Hupp said five companies submitted bids for the five-year contract, but individual base and alternate bids will have to be reviewed by the city law director to determine the final costs and whether each bidder qualifies for the contract.

Bidders, in addition to Rumpke, were Cardinal Waste Services of New Philadelphia, Waste Management of Parkersburg, Kimble Waste Services of Dover and Big O Refuse of Beverly.

Some new options for city residential service, depending on which bid is accepted, would include pick-up of one bulky item (appliance, furniture, etc.) per quarter at no extra cost, the ability to have yard waste collected separately for an additional cost and the availability of larger, covered, containers for recycling.

“It’s a significant cost for the haulers to provide covered 64-gallon containers, but it helps keep the recyclables from getting wet,” said Rob Reiter, coordinator for the Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District.

City residents currently set recyclables out in much smaller uncovered plastic tubs provided by Rumpke.

Reiter said the cleaner and drier the recycled material, the more marketable it is for the waste haulers. He said material like plastic wrap and wet paper or cardboard costs more to process and is basically money out of the recycler’s pocket.

Hupp said if residents choose to set out more than one bulky item per quarter, those additional items would require a $15 sticker to be hauled away.

“Unlimited trash service is also available this time if residents want it,” added Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward. “That would include trash and recyclables, but at a higher cost than regular service.”

The committee will schedule another meeting next week to consider the contract bids. Hupp said the bid will be awarded by April 1.

In other business Thursday, Hupp suggested the city use the Internet to auction off items and equipment that are no longer needed.

Currently the city uses newspaper advertising when materials are to be auctioned off.

“But Internet sales can move city assets quicker and we can likely get more dollars for those items,” Hupp said. “I would also like to see the city offer its used vehicles online.”

City law director Paul Bertram III agreed.

“On the Internet more people in more cities will be able to see and bid on these items,” he said.

Bertram said council has the option to sell on the Internet, through services offered by eBay, Google, Craigslist and other online entities, but it would require passage of annual resolutions spelling out how the auctions will be conducted, and the city would still have to publish its intent to hold an Internet auction in the local newspaper.

“I would like to have the safety-service director set this up,” Vukovic said. “During the last police auction bikes were being sold for $1 because we don’t have a large enough population bidding on these items.”

He said the Internet would open the bidding up to thousands more people.

Hupp expects to have the Internet auction process ready for city use by April 1.

On a related note, Hupp announced to the police and fire committee members that the city needs to sell a 2006 police cruiser, a 2002 ambulance unit and the old pontoon fire boat at auction.

It was agreed that minimum bids would be $2,500 for the cruiser, $10,000 for the ambulance and $1,000 for the fire boat, but the items would be held for sale via the city’s first Internet auction in April.