BRUNSWICK — City Council heard a mix of opinions from about 40 residents Wednesday night during a special meeting regarding options for trash pickup and recycling.
The options are:
- Status quo. Republic Services would continue unlimited curbside waste collection and residents would continue to drop recyclables at 12 containers. There are 144 recycle drop-off locations in Medina County. The charge is $49.23 per quarter, or $196.92 annually.
- Republic would continue unlimited curbside waste collection and residents would be provided a cart for recyclables, if desired. Recyclables would be picked up weekly, but by a different truck. City Service Director Paul Barnett said the size of the cart is under discussion, with options including a 64- or 96-gallon cart. The fee would be $61 per quarter, or $244 annually. Residents who want additional recyclable carts would lease up to two carts for a one-time price of about $58 per cart.
- Create a cart program — one for recyclables and one for trash, and discontinue services with Republic. Under this proposal, all trash would be bagged and placed inside the cart. Each household would be allowed up to three free bulk volume pickups yearly with a 24-hour advance notice to the hauler.
Barnett said the city has discussed adding a bulk volume pickups on a day following the new year holiday. The city would seek bids from other providers with an estimated cost of $55 per quarter, or $220 annually.
The cost of recycle carts would be built into the quarterly fee charged to residents, Barnett said.
Barnett told residents the fees are estimates until bids are advertised for the option chosen.
Brunswick’s contract with Republic was to have expired last March 31 but was extended one year.
“I tried to estimate high (because) I don’t want to come back to you and say it’s (more),” Barnett said. “I worked with contractors to make sure these numbers are in the ballpark. I feel pretty confident it will come under that but I can’t promise that.”
Resident Eric Ruschak said his main concern was why it would cost the city more to recycle. However, he said would be in favor of a cart program because it would enhance the appearance of city streets on trash day.
“Garbage day looks terrible in Brunswick,” said Ruschak, who declined to say where he lives. “I hope a system like this will clean up Brunswick and look better up and down the street.”
However, Barry Russell, who lives on Applewood Drive, said he loads his trash cans into his Chevy Trailblazer and drives them down his 250-foot driveway to the curb. He said he would not be able to do that if the city goes with the cart program.
“It will work for the vast majority, but not us,” he said. “We won’t be able to lift the cart and load it in the truck.”
Residents who live in a homeowners’ association expressed concerns about rules in place that state they may not put garbage cans in or outside their garage.
“We will have to work with the HOA … but if and when this comes out, the HOA will be forced to change the rules if this is a city ordinance,” Barnett said.
Mary Merrill, who lives on Heartwick Circle, said she originally was opposed to the idea when it was implemented while living in Maryland, but later adapted.
“At first we were thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, how are we going to do this?’ But it’s amazing how much you can fit and put in the bin,” she said. “We drive around to drop off the recyclables because it’s the right thing to do.”
Barnett said the ultimate goal is to be “successful with recycling” and “optimize the recycling percentage” in the city.
He estimated that if the city went with a recycling option, it could see recycling of 18 to 20 percent. In 2016, the Medina County Sanitary Engineer’s Office recorded 1.15 percent recycling in the county.
“(Recycling) is the right thing to do, but there has to be a grassroots effort in the city,” said Frank Hoard, who lives on Valley Forge Drive. “I’d like to see an incentive put in place if recycling rates go up.”
A second public meeting on the topic is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 20 at the Brunswick Recreation Center, 3637 Center Road.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.