For the next seven years, Ray’s Trash Services won’t be an option for Carmel residents. The City’s Board of Public Works awarded Republic Services the city’s contract after its bid came in approximately 20 percent lower than others.
The Carmel City Council voted 5-2 on Jan. 18 to eliminate the ability for Carmel residents to opt out of using the city’s contracted trash collector. This does not affect business trash collection.
The contract includes solid waste removal and recycling rates for the city from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2023. On Dec. 5, the City Council voted unanimously to set the monthly charges at $11.18 in 2017 and increase to $13.31 in 2023.
“This contract will save money for the Carmel taxpayers,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said.
The bid process began in October and was open to any company who could fulfill the contract. Five companies came to the pre-bid meeting, but only Ray’s and Republic submitted bids.
“Based on our experience, we felt Republic was certainly capable and the lowest bidder,” City Utilities Director John Duffy said.
Weekly recycling is an addition from the previous contract. Sue Maki, Carmel’s manager of environmental initiatives and education, said the city gathered opinions from Carmel residents to see if they would like to move from bi-weekly to weekly recycling.
Duffy said letters will be mailed out to former Ray’s customers to let them know how to switch to Republic. Maki said she’ll be talking to local homeowners associations to explain the change.
City Councilor Jeff Worrell asked if larger pickup items, such as a refrigerator or coach, would be available for pickup in Republic’s new contract. Ray’s was known for picking up these items, and Maki said there will be twice a year “bulky pick-up” in the contract. She said refrigerators can be difficult to throw away because of the Freon.
Brainard emphasized that Republic employees will grab trash totes for residents who are physically unable to bring the tote to the curb. Brainard said residents can call Republic to get on the list, and there’s no extra charge.
Duffy said there’s also a “snowbird” provision for residents who live in Florida or elsewhere during the winter so they don’t receive bills while they’re away.
Maki said all new customers will receive Republic trash totes, and if they don’t want the recycling tote the City will take it away.
City Council President Ron Carter said it was important to remove the opt-out provision because it harmed the city’s negotiating power for the trash contract and it caused too many trash vehicles to be on the road.
“Frankly I’ve not heard of anywhere else in the United States with an opt-out,” Carter said.
Carter said people have told him that they want the same service they got from Ray’s, noting that many of them prefer Ray’s picking up trash by hand rather than the mechanical arm on Republic’s trucks that picks up trash cans.
“What I tell them is that anyone who won the citywide trash contract was going to have to use loaders,” he said. “You can’t cover a city the size of Carmel when you pick up trash by hand.”
ANNUAL TRASH/RECYCLING RATES (PER MONTH):
- 2017 — $11.18
- 2018 — $11.51
- 2019 — $11.85
- 2020 — $12.20
- 2021 — $12.56
- 2022 — $12.93
- 2023 — $13.31
Source: City of Carmel