It will cost Columbus taxpayers more to dump their trash and collect their recyclables this year.
Jim Letizia reports.
The city of Columbus will pay 16.7 million dollars to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio for refuse and drop box recycling services. That's an increase of more than 900 thousand from the previous year, and an increase of nearly 4 million from 2007. Costs have increased in five of the last seven years, according to the legislation City Council is expected to approve tonight. This year's figure is an estimate by the Department of Public Service of the amount it will cost to dispose of the waste collected from over 327 thousand households weekly, the pick-up of bulk and illegally dumped items as needed, and the handling of the drop box recyclables. The department estimates 300 thousand tons of garbage will be collected, depending on the weather and other variables. The city dumped 314 thousand tons in the landfill in 2011 and 293 thousand tons in 2012. The increase comes as the city continues phasing in its curbside recycling program that officials believe will reduce tipping costs and extend the life of a landfill that is approaching capacity. City officials note thousands of tons have been diverted from the landfill through the taxpayer-funded program. Earlier this year, the city began delivering blue-box recycling containers to small apartment buildings, continuing the city-wide rollout of the program.