Rapid Removal given 4-month extension on trash contract while Trenton City Council explores options

City of Trenton Website

Residential trash collections will continue to be temporarily picked up by Rapid Removal Disposal after the City Council’s vote last night on a WCA contract ended in a tie and the City Council has reversed itself, re-instating the monthly charge for residential curbside recycling at Trenton.

Over two dozen residents from the public crowded into the City Council chamber Monday night to participate and hear discussion on solid waste collection and recycling.

Two weeks ago, the city council voted four to three in favor of a motion that authorized the city attorney to prepare an ordinance for the Mayor and City Clerk to sign a contract with Waste Corporation effective in January and good for five years. WCA had submitted the low bid of $9.54 a month per household. A competing bid from Rapid Removal Disposal was $11.25 cents a month as of next year.

Following some brief discussion, the council called for the question to be voted on. That ended in a tie of four to four. In favor of the low bid from WCA were Glen Briggs, Travis Elbert, Dave Mlika, and Jenn Hottes. Opposing the contract with WCA were Lou Fisher, Larry Porter, Brad Chumbley, and Larry Crawford. The vote failed since five affirmative votes are required to adopt an ordinance at Trenton.

Additional discussion followed with Councilman Elbert noted since the council was at an impasse, all trash pickup bids should be rejected and a committee explore the whether to allow households to determine who they want to have as their trash collector. That idea was met with skepticism as it was noted some households won’t select anyone.

The motion to refer to a committee passed seven to one with Councilman Crawford opposed. But the current contract expires at the end of this month. Eventually, a motion was made by Councilman Chumbley to grant Rapid Removal a four-month extension on their current trash pickup contract. That motion was unanimously approved by all eight council members.

Once the extension was granted, Rapid Removal Manager Andy Burress responded to a question by stating the company would continue residential pickup at the current rate of $10.76 a month.

Waste Corporation and Rapid Removal representatives were in attendance. Several citizens spoke up in favor of Rapid Removal, noting it’s a local company in Trenton, it has employees at Trenton, pays taxes, and contributes an economic benefit.

The city of Trenton receives a $2.00 per ton tipping fee for all waste taken to the Rapid Removal transfer station. Upon a question, city officials stated the tipping fee revenue is used to pay for a water line to Rapid Removal and other economic development purposes in the north part of Trenton. It was felt by several of the public that if the council approved WCA, the trash collected by that company would be hauled to Chillicothe which would get benefits of a tipping fee due to increased tonnage.

The difference in bids over the course of five years, collectively for 2,200 households in Trenton, was mentioned at $14,000. Several of those in the audience felt Rapid Removal invests more than that into the local economy.

Two weeks ago, the city council voted six to one against continuing to collect a $3.00 monthly fee for recycling, citing a belief that not enough people were doing so and that dropping the program, would be one less thing households have to pay.

Councilman Larry Crawford requested the recycling topic for last nights’ agenda, then requested the council reconsider its previous decision. Crawford said he was surprised to learn information from the North Missouri Solid Waste Management District that Hope Haven in the past two years, has recycled nearly a million tons of materials during its curbside pickup.

Ann Hamilton of the solid waste district spoke of the benefits of recycling and offered to help educate Trenton citizens about recycling. Some on the council suggested a flier on what can and can not be recycled should be included with monthly utility bills.

Hope Haven has clarified their bid for recycling to mean $2.64 cents a month per household continues to go to Hope Haven. The city administrative fee for billing is increasing by 65 cents to make it one dollar per customer. A motion was made by Crawford to accept Hope Haven recycling for the five year period. That motion passed seven to one with Lou Fisher voting no.

The cost next year for recycling, whether households participate or not, will be $3.64 per month. It also was suggested by the public that more households would likely recycle if each was provided with a container that could be moved to curbside. And it could be provided at no cost to households if the city were to submit an application and get approved for a grant.