HERMITAGE — Hermitage residents can expect to keep the same garbage, recycling and yard waste services for the next five years, but the cost of those services will increase.
Hermitage commissioners unanimously approved a five-year contract with Tri-County Industries, based in Pine Township, Wednesday at their board meeting. The bid included an estimated monthly cost of $580,150.
Republic Services/Allied Waste was the only other bidder, with with an estimated monthly price tag of $672,773.
The new quarterly bill will increase from $49.41 to $59.04, while tags for bulk waste drop-off will rise from $4 to $5, tags for appliances will go from $8 to $10 and tags for electronic waste will cost $10. Tags for large items will remain at 95 cents.
Prices will change little during the contract term, City Manager Gary Hinkson said.
Glass will no longer be recyclable. Plastics classified as No. 1 through No. 2, which includes items such as water bottles and milk jugs, can be included in recycling collection. Other plastics must now be discarded with the regular garbage.
Despite the increased costs, commissioners President William Moder said the contract with Tri-County could be beneficial for residents, as the city’s collection days will remain unchanged. Contracting with a new company could have resulted in a different collection schedule.
“There is an increase in the first year,” Moder said. “However, the rates will be the same with no increase afterward, which we think is a benefit because traditionally landfill costs can increase, and those tend to get passed on to contracts.”
Although he understood why some people wouldn’t be happy about the increased costs, commissioners Vice President Duane Piccirilli said the board made sure residents could continue using bags instead of garbage totes if they chose to, and the city would continue its program to assist those such as low-income elderly residents who might not produce much garbage.
“I also think our yard waste container is a great benefit as well,” Piccirilli said, in reference to a program where residents can order a third tote specifically for yard waste at a one-time cost of $5. Yard waste includes such items as branches, leaves and grass clippings.
The quarterly rates from Tri-County are expected to remain about the same over the course of the five years. Although that amount may fluctuate based on the cost of gas, Hinkson said the change is out of the city’s control but is usually only “a few cents.”
“We’ve had some years where it’s gone down, and we’ve had some years where it’s gone up,” he said.
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