City Council approves extension with Rumpke for $14 million increase in recycling services
Columbus City Council approved a contract extension with Rumpke for recycling services Monday night during its weekly meeting.
The city has provided the service to people in Columbus, at no cost, for the last five years. Rumpke's contract is set to be up at the end of March.
The company put in a bid to the city for an increase of $14 million. It was the only bid the city received.
When the recycling service began five years ago, the city received three bids, including one from Rumpke.
"I'm disappointed that we only received one sole bid on the contract and that one sole bid was an increase of $14,000,000. That's concerning when you look at our overall budget," said Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown.
"I can't speak specifically for them, however what we have heard is an increase in employee cost, increase in gas prices and just overall as they've learned more about the program and have run the routes now over years," said Columbus Public Service Director, Jennifer Gallagher, when asked why Rumpke increased its cost for recycling services to the city.
Columbus public service officials said they tried to find companies to provide recycling services to the city before they put the bid out.
Some companies don't have enough manpower to handle the workload, unless the city is broken up into zones to make the workload manageable.
"We are concerned about increasing costs and that's why I amended the ordinance to require director Gallagher and the department of public service to report back to us starting immediately on a quarterly basis, about what they're doing to control these recycling cost long term," said Brown.
The city will revisit its contract with Rumpke after one year.